The House of Representatives on Thursday approved a $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus proposal put forward by House Democrats with no bipartisan deal in sight, even as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have continued talks in an effort to reach an agreement.
The measure passed largely along party lines amid GOP opposition with a final tally of 214-207. Eighteen Democrats crossed party lines to vote against the bill, while Republicans were united in opposition.
The legislation will give Democrats something to point to as lawmakers face pressure from constituents to deliver more aid as the pandemic continues to take a devastating toll across America. But the Democratic plan has been rejected by Republicans as too costly and is not expected to be taken up by the GOP-led Senate, and time is quickly running out to clinch a bipartisan agreement that could be signed into law ahead of Election Day.
Pelosi, as she walked off the House floor, told a group of reporters Thursday evening ahead of the vote that there will be no agreement on any stimulus deal Thursday night, but talks with Mnuchin will continue.
Pelosi stressed that the central issue is less about whether they can reach a topline agreement in principle, but about whether they can nail down the actual details in legislative language.
“Even if we came to some agreement, nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to. It’s the language,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi said she was headed back to her office to review documents sent to her by Mnuchin and would figure out where things go next after that.
Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke by phone on Thursday afternoon, but after the call there was still no deal at hand.
Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, tweeted later that during the call “the two discussed further clarifications on amounts and language but distance on key areas remain. Their conversation will continue this afternoon.”
Video: Pelosi: Dems will propose new covid relief plan shortly (CNN)
In an indication of how challenging it may be to reach a bipartisan agreement at this point, Pelosi, on a private call with the House Democratic whip team Thursday morning, sounded very down about the prospects of a deal for a new stimulus package to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, according to two people on the call.
Pelosi repeatedly spoke of the “different values” held by Democrats and Republicans, making clear that even the latest offer from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin fell far short of what was needed to