“I’m talking to the rapporteur this afternoon, we’re going to talk about where we’re going with the issue of appropriations, keep the government running, that’s the first priority,” Mnuchin told reporters earlier Tuesday, referring to the December 11 deadline. keep the government funded.
“We want to make sure he’s on track, so the president wants to make sure there’s no downtime, and our first choice is not to do a CR to carry over appropriations,” Mnuchin said, referring to the ongoing resolution which can keep the government at its current level funded until a set date until negotiations are ongoing.
Following their conversation, Pelosi issued a statement that the two of them discussed the funding bill and mitigation of the coronavirus.
“Further facilitation of COVID is long overdue and they need to be handed over at this lame duck session,” Pelosi said.
Incentive talks have stalled and started several times since July, with both sides deadlocked on another package since Congress handed over $ 2 trillion in emergency aid in March. The news of the Pelosi-Mnuchin meeting comes amid new pressure from members in the rankings to lead them to deliver some stimulus as the country faces a rock at the end of the year when more provisions expire.
Some Republicans were barely thrilled by the news that Mnuchin and Pelosi would speak. While the pair talked about incentive financing for the first time since the election, Republican aides involved in spending and incentive negotiations argued that the negotiations could make the final meeting of the deal more difficult and not optimistic about the negotiations.
“It hasn’t been enough of this in recent months,” one GOP assistant said.
Republicans have been worried for months that Mnuchin is not as fiscal conservative as I would hope in the negotiations. That’s why Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s majority leader, made it clear after the election that she would step into the talks and why Mnuchin hadn’t played a visible role in those talks for weeks.
Republicans fear that Mnuchin will give Dems too much. Ahead of the election, Pelosi and Mnuchin raised a proposal of around $ 1.8 trillion. The bipartisan plan laid down in the Senate on Tuesday morning cost just $ 908 billion. In other words, Republicans believe they could be much more aggressive in the negotiations if Mnuchin did not negotiate this.
Nevertheless, an increasing number of legislators on both sides are pushing for some kind of deal. On Tuesday morning, a bipartisan group of senators announced its own $ 908 billion proposal, which will be among the $ 2 trillion package the Democrats called for earlier this year, in excess of the $ 500 billion plan discussed by GOP senators this summer.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah said the group talked to Mnuchin about the framework, but did not consider whether the White House would support it. He said they also talked to McConnell.
Joe Manchin, a Democratic senator from West Virginia who worked with Romney among the senators, called the $ 908 billion “frame” relief that runs through April 1 an “intense effort” that came together in about 30 days.
“It is unforgivable to leave the city and we have no agreement,” Manchin said. “It’s going to be through the hardest times.”
Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, also said he hopes to go through something before Christmas.
“It’s not going to make everyone happy, but they did a tremendous job,” Warner said. “It would be stupid with steroids for Congress to leave for Christmas without making a temporary package as a bridge.”
However, the key details of the bipartisan framework are still missing. The two sides did not understand how they would handle liability protection, McConnell said it was a red line for him to support the package. And the group has yet to expand its specific suggestion language. Many senators say they need more details before they can agree to support it.
“The energy is in the Senate,” South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said. “It seems that people on both sides of the corridor are eager before we get home, before Christmas, to provide some much-needed help. Liability protection should be part of the package. … If you can solve this problem, I think you’re away. starting in competitions. “
CNN Manu Raju and Kristin Wilson contributed to the report.