Pelosi rejects increased US stimulus offer

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Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, rejected a higher $ 1.8 billion fiscal stimulus offer from the White House, dashing hopes for a breakthrough in the negotiations.

In a letter to Democratic lawmakers on Saturday, Pelosi said the Trump administration’s latest proposal marked “one step forward, two steps back” and that there were “disagreements on many priorities” to bring more government relief to the US economy.

“When the president talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal seems to mean he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold, rather than accepting language prescribing how we honor our workers, crush the virus and put money in the pockets of workers, ”Ms. Pelosi wrote.

Economists and investors have been following the fate of the stimulus talks in Washington closely, as a deal could help support the recovery in the months to come. Failure to strike a deal risks blocking or reversing the rebound.

Ms Pelosi and Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, tried to strike a deal ahead of the election, but struggled to find a compromise. Democrats have proposed – and passed legislation in the House – to pump an additional $ 2.2 billion in spending into the economy, but Republicans and the Trump administration have wavered at the size of the package.

Prospects for a deal were further reduced on Saturday when a number of Republican-controlled Senate lawmakers attacked the White House’s new offer for being excessive in a call with Mr Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, the chief of staff of the White House. “There is no appetite right now to spend the White House number or the House number,” Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee senator, said on the call, according to Politico.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump abruptly asked Mr. Mnuchin to withdraw from the talks. Following a strong backlash, he turned the tide and started a new push for a deal, saying he was ready to pass a major fiscal stimulus bill. But even though Mr Trump has come a long way ahead of many lawmakers in supporting his party, Ms Pelosi said that was still not enough.

In her letter, the President of the Democratic House said that the White House still had not included enough provisions for the testing and testing of coronaviruses, and worker safety protections. She said spending on child care was insufficient and the White House was resisting tax credits for poorer families. Ms Pelosi added that Trump’s proposal on federal unemployment benefits remained $ 200 billion below Democrat-backed levels.

However, Ms Pelosi did not entirely rule out the possibility of a deal. “Despite these unresolved concerns, I remain hopeful that yesterday’s developments will bring us closer to an agreement on a relief plan that addresses the health and economic crisis facing American families.

“Like I said before, the devil and the angels are in the details,” she said.

Marsh Notes

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While there is a consensus between the White House and Democrats on sending a further round of up to $ 1,200 in direct payments to individuals, the slow pace of negotiations means that it is less and less likely. that they reach households before the November 3 elections.

Alec Phillips, political analyst at Goldman Sachs, wrote on Friday that the Trump administration’s “renewed urgency” had led to a “real narrowing of positions,” but a deal was still unlikely. “For now, we still think the odds are against a substantial pre-election stimulus, even though the situation is more murky than it seemed just days ago,” Phillips said.

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