At the White House, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed that the administration had offered Pelosi an approximately $1.6 trillion package, much higher than many congressional Republicans would be able to support.
“It’s a good offer but it’s one Nancy Pelosi is not interested in,” McEnany said.
“Nancy Pelosi is not being serious. If she becomes serious then we can have a discussion,” McEnany said.
For her part, Pelosi (D-Calif.) criticized the GOP’s proposals as too stingy, contending that the administration is focused on protecting tax breaks for the wealthy instead of help for families and children in need. House Democrats had initially sought a $3.4 trillion spending package before bring the package down to around $2.2 trillion.
“This isn’t half a loaf, this is the heel of the loaf,” Pelosi said on Bloomberg TV of the White House proposal.
Nevertheless, Pelosi and Mnuchin were set to have another conversation Thursday afternoon, a day after they met in person for 90 minutes at the Capitol on Wednesday. The Wednesday meeting was their first in-person discussion since bipartisan coronavirus relief talks collapsed in early August.
Congress is set to adjourn at the end of this week through the election, but before they do Pelosi and Mnuchin are making one last try at a deal. They remained far apart and seemed almost to be forecasting failure, but talks continued and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he was hopeful it would lead to something.
“I’d like to see another rescue package,” McConnell said. “We’ve been trying for months to get there. I wish them well.”
While the talks continued, Democrats moved to press ahead with their own plan. Pelosi said she hoped for a House vote later Thursday on Democrats’ new $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.
Republicans strongly oppose the bill. Democratic