• There have been no stimulus talks since Aug. 7
  • Provisions of the CARES Act, including a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures and pandemic unemployment compensation, expired July 31
  • JP Morgan says every month pandemic unemployment compensation is delayed, the GDP will suffer a 0.4% loss

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday Democrats are willing to cut their coronavirus stimulus bill if that will facilitate a quick deal with the White House.

Talks on the fifth round of coronavirus relief stalled more than a week ago, in part over disagreement related to the size of pandemic unemployment compensation and aid to cash-strapped state and local governments. There have been no talks since Aug. 7.

“We’re willing to cut our bill in half to meet the needs right now,” Pelosi told reporters. Spokesman Drew Hammill later clarified Pelosi meant Democrats were willing to meet the White House halfway, Bloomberg reported.

Democrats passed a $3.5 trillion coronavirus relief measure in May but negotiations with Republicans did not begin until the expiration deadline for provisions of the CARES Act, adopted in March, were just days off. The Republicans’ counteroffer was for a $1 trillion package that did not provide state and local aid and cut the pandemic unemployment compensation from $600 to $200.

During subsequent negotiations, the White House raised the unemployment compensation to $400, but President Trump remained opposed to state and local government aid.

Since the talks broke down, Trump has signed a series of executive orders he said would provide unemployment relief and keep tenants from being evicted, but critics say the orders really won’t have much of an impact. One of his orders imposes a suspension of the payroll tax, a move that could undermine both Social Security and Medicare if it is made permanent as Trump has threatened.

Pelosi said Democrats are willing to pass a smaller bill now and then come back for a sixth round of relief after the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. She said she does not want to be negotiating a stimulus bill at the same time Congress needs to adopt a continuing resolution to keep the government afloat.

JP Morgan Chase strategists estimate each month the pandemic unemployment compensation is delayed, the gross domestic product loses 0.4%, increasing the damage inflicted on the economy by the pandemic and threatening to make the damage permanent.