House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she’s waiting for Monday to see if the White House gives a “final yes” to a coronavirus stimulus deal.
Pelosi said she asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for clarification on lingering issues concerning testing and education.
“I sent over on Friday the list of concerns we still had … and my understanding [is that] he will be reviewing that over the weekend and we will have some answers on Monday,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“We’re still waiting for the final OK,” she added.
Earlier on CNN, the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, had complained that Pelosi was moving the goalposts in the negotiations.
Pelosi said it was Republicans who deserved blame for shifting their demands. She was still hopeful, she said, for a House vote before the election, even as many lawmakers see this is out of the question.
The speaker said the language was important because otherwise Trump could spend allocated money “any way he wants.”
If Democrats win the White House and the Senate and keep the House, Pelosi said she would not wait until next year to rewrite legislation that could be passed without Republicans.
“The sooner the better — people need help right away,” Pelosi said. The talks ongoing are making the bill “bigger, better and safer” with retroactive benefits.
The leverage is that both sides now appear to want an agreement, some three weeks after President Donald Trump pulled the plug on stimulus negotiations and five months after the House passed its HEROES Act with some bipartisan backing as the second major legislative pandemic relief measure. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell prevented that bill from being taken up in the Senate. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican now locked in a tight re-election battle, reportedly declared it “dead on arrival” before the chamber went on summer break.
“It could happen this week in the House. That’s up to Mitch [McConnell] as to whether it happens in the Senate and [then goes] to the president’s desk,” she said,