(ConservativeUnit.com)- Only a week after President Donald Trump said he instructed his team to stop negotiating on an economic stimulus package until after the election, the administration is pushing forward to try to get some sort of relief in the near future.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is serving as the lead negotiator for the Trump administration, offered a $1.8 trillion counterproposal to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Democrats’ latest proposal was for $2.2 trillion, meaning the administration’s latest counter isn’t too far off.
Still, Pelosi called the counter a “miserable and deadly failure.” The president then accused Pelosi of dragging out negotiations in an attempt to “influence the election.”
Larry Kudlow, an economic adviser to the White House, said Sunday they might increase their offer, although he didn’t provide any specifics on what that might look like. He said on Sunday:
“The bid and the offer is narrowing somewhat between the two sides.”
Pelosi and Mnuchin are scheduled to continue talking this week in an attempt to come to some sort of resolution. The problem, though, is that even if the two sides do come to an agreement, it’s possible that Republicans in the Senate could shoot down the proposal.
On a conference call held Saturday with Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, the chief of staff of the White House, multiple Republican senators said they couldn’t agree to a deal that approached $2 trillion. While Mnuchin is negotiating on behalf of the president, they’d still need enough people in the Senate to vote in favor of the bill for it to ultimately be signed into law.
Republicans Senators have long balked at another huge spending bill, for fear that growing the deficit would have huge negative consequences on the economy long-term. Some senators who are up for re-election also believe a deal before the election could hurt their chances, which could give control of the Senate over to Democrats.
Kudlow believes that if Mnuchin and Pelosi can come to an agreement, that enough Senators “will go along with it.”
At the same time they are negotiating a large, all-encompassing package, the White House is also pushing for smaller piecemeal deals that will provide economic aid to some. One such proposal is allowing the Trump administration to repurpose funding from the Paycheck Protection Program that went unused so more small businesses can benefit.
Mnuchin and Meadows sent a letter to Congress members Sunday that read:
“Now is the time for us to come together and immediately vote on a bill to allow us to spend the unused Paycheck Protection Program funds while we continue to work toward a comprehensive package. The all-or-nothing approach is an unacceptable response to the American people.”
This idea wouldn’t spend any new money at all. It simply would be a re-allocation of money that was already allocated as part of the spring’s economic stimulus package. To this point, though, Democrats have resisted efforts to pass any stimulus legislation that isn’t a complete and expensive package.