House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said progress was being made on coronavirus relief legislation to respond to the economic fallout from a pandemic that has killed more than 207,000 Americans and thrown millions out of work, Reuters writes.
“We’re making progress,” Pelosi told CBS. Pelosi, a Democrat, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talked every day last week and met in person on Wednesday in an effort to negotiate a new bipartisan aid package.
Pelosi spoke a day after President Trump, hospitalized with covid-19, tweeted his support for more stimulus legislation, writing, “WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE.”
Pelosi was asked if the President’s comment suggested that a deal was in hand or close.
“No, it means that we want to see that they will agree on what we need to do to crush the virus so that we can open the economy and open our schools safely,” Pelosi said.
She did not elaborate, but had said Friday that agreeing on language on how to spend new testing and tracing money remained a sticking point. Democrats have pushed for months for a national testing strategy that the administration never produced, The Washington Post reported.
Pelosi also suggested Friday that Trump’s positive diagnosis could change the dynamic and help speed an agreement in the new round of economic relief talks that restarted about a week ago between her and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Negotiations continued over the weekend, but there was little sign a breakthrough would be imminent. Pelosi asked airlines on Friday to hold off on impending furloughs of tens of thousands of workers pending a deal. United and American, the major carriers that have threatened furloughs, have said they can reverse them if there is a deal to extend payroll support for the industry that just expired, but Congress must act fast.