White House spokeswoman says chances of second COVID-19 relief bill before election are ‘slim’

White House spokeswoman says chances of second COVID-19 relief bill before election are ‘slim’

  28 Oct 2020

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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has expressed doubt that a coronavirus relief package will be agreed upon before the Nov. 3 election, Reuters reported. 

McEnany said Tuesday that House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D – Calif.) is seeking stimulus checks for tax paying immigrants, which goes against the wishes of Republicans and could delay an agreement. 

“The chances are slim when you have someone like Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, when you look at the proposal they put forward and it still stands today,” McEnany said on Fox Business Network.

“This is not serious if we’re providing stimulus relief for the American people, it should be just that, for American people, for U.S. citizens,” McEnany added. “So it’s on her.”

Pelosi remains optimistic 

Earlier this month, Pelosi set a 48-hour deadline for the White House to agree to a bill. She said she was “optimistic” that the deal could get done ahead of the presidential election. 

“The 48 only relates to if we want to get it done before the election, which we do,” Pelosi told ABC News. “We’re saying to them, we have to freeze the design on some of these things — are we going with it or not and what is the language? I’m optimistic because again we’ve been back and forth on all this.”

A deal has yet to be reached, however, as the leaders of both parties are still at an impasse over several elements of the second relief package. The House approved a $2.2 trillion plan in May, but Republicans countered that it was too large. 

Democrats are pushing for funding for state and local governments, and Republicans are pushing for liability protection for businesses during the pandemic. The leaders of both parties have agreed to send Americans a second $1,200 stimulus payment, as well as provide aid to the struggling airline industry.

Pelosi reportedly had an hour-long phone conversation with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday, and her spokesman Drew Hammill tweeted that she “remains optimistic that an agreement can be reached before the election.”

“We continue to eagerly await the Administration’s acceptance of our health language,” Hammill said. He added that it is “clear that our progress depends on [Senate Majority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell agreeing to bipartisan, comprehensive legislation.”

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