Via Economic Policy Journal

Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) clashed Friday over the contours of a new economic relief bill, with McConnell saying it should be narrow and targeted and Pelosi flatly rejecting that approach, reports The Washington Post.

“Our economy is really moving to get back on its feet. That I think clearly ought to affect what size of any rescue package we additionally do,” McConnell (R-Ky.) said at a news conference in Kentucky. “I do think we need another one but I think it reinforces the argument that I’ve been making for the last few months that something smaller — rather than throwing another $3 trillion at this issue — is more appropriate, with it highly targeted towards things that are directly related to the coronavirus, which we all know is not going away until we get a vaccine.”

Shortly after McConnell spoke, Pelosi (D-Calif.) addressed reporters at the Capitol where she was asked whether the notion of a smaller relief package appealed to her.

“No, no, it doesn’t appeal to me at all because they still have not agreed to crush the virus,” Pelosi said.

The Post adds:

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been negotiating for months on a bill with a price tag around $2 trillion. Those talks finally broke down for good last week…

Heading into the lame duck, there is little sign that the Pelosi-Mnuchin talks will resume. Instead, the administration is indicating that they will let McConnell take the lead in any new negotiations with Pelosi…

But with McConnell and Pelosi so far apart at the outset, it’s unclear where compromise might lie — and highly uncertain what Trump might be willing to sign on his way out of office. The negotiations might hinge in part on a Dec. 11 deadline when government funding runs out and a new spending bill will have to pass to avert a government shutdown.

RW

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