WASHINGTON—The House passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill Thursday as bipartisan negotiations with the Trump administration dragged on, with Democrats moving forward on their legislation in the absence of a deal with Republicans.
The vote had earlier been postponed to give House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin more time to agree on an aid package. But those conversations haven’t yet yielded a bipartisan agreement.
“We’re still far apart,” Mrs. Pelosi said Thursday. “Hopefully, we can find our common ground on this and do so soon.”
Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Mnuchin spoke multiple times on Thursday. Mrs. Pelosi said Thursday evening she was going to review documents from Mr. Mnuchin, but no deal was likely Thursday evening.
The legislation passed 214-207, with 18 Democrats joining Republicans in opposition to the bill.
The Democratic bill would give money to state and local governments, send another round of stimulus checks to many Americans, reinstate a $600 weekly supplement to unemployment benefits, and give assistance to airlines, restaurants and performance venues, among other measures. Republicans have panned the bill, giving it no chance of passage in the GOP-controlled Senate.
After Mrs. Pelosi put forward her $2.2 trillion plan this week, Mr. Mnuchin made a $1.6 trillion counteroffer, an increase from the $1.5 trillion that the administration had previously signaled it could support. The new offer from Mr. Mnuchin included $250 billion in funding for state and local governments, which has been a key disagreement in the talks. Republicans had earlier offered $150 billion for state and local governments.
The Democrats’ $2.2 trillion price tag marks a reduction from the $3.5 trillion bill House Democrats passed in May. Instead of the $915 billion for state and local governments Democrats originally sought, their new bill now seeks $436 billion for localities and municipalities.
Whether the two sides can close the remaining distance, though, is unclear. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that Mrs. Pelosi should accept the administration’s new offer.
“It is a good proposal, but it is one she is not interested in,” she said of Mrs. Pelosi. She didn’t rule out a further revision to the White House position. “Right now, we have the $1.6 trillion number, and I’ll let you know if that number goes up,” she said.
Both the White House and House Democrats are renewing their attempts to reach a deal as the absence of another stimulus bill is beginning to visibly weigh on the economy. With no new aid in sight,
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said they would go forward for now with a total of more than 32,000 job cuts.