• Pelosi gave the Trump administration a 48-hour deadline to strike a deal on the next stimulus package
  • The deadline will end Tuesday, the same day Republicans will vote on a $500B relief bill
  • The "skinny" bill may not include $1,200 of direct payments 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw down the gauntlet to Republicans, setting a 48-hour deadline on negotiations for a potential $1.8 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill.

In an interview on ABC News on Sunday, Pelosi said she is optimistic about her weekend meetings with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. However, she also gave the White House until Tuesday to strike a deal, CNBC reports.

“The 48 only relates to if we want to get it done before the election, which we do,” Pelosi said. “We’re saying to them, we have to freeze the design on some of these things — are we going with it or not, and what is the language? I’m optimistic, because again we’ve been back and forth on all this.”

The next stimulus package remained stalled as Democratic and Republican leaders continue to seek agreement about what the upcoming relief package should include.

Earlier this month, House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus plan, but the Senate never brought it to a vote. The White House also proposed its own $1.8 coronavirus relief package. Both proposals included the second round of $1,200 stimulus checks.

Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are expected to vote on a “skinny” $500 billion stimulus bill on Wednesday. The proposal, which was blocked by Democrats last month, includes an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program, unemployment benefits, and funds for coronavirus testing, contact tracing, and vaccine production.

However, McConnell did not mention any provision of another round of $1,200 direct payments to families and individuals who received stimulus checks under the HEALS Act, Business Insider reports.

The lockdowns caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic has caused millions of Americans to be furloughed or unemployed. According to the Department of Labor, more than 886,000 new unemployment claims were filed last week, an increase of 77,000 from the previous week, CNET reported.

A study from the Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy (CPSP) also found that 14 million people who received relief aid from the CARES Act’s $600 weekly unemployment benefit fell back into poverty after the supplement expired.

The monthly poverty rate from February to September 2020 also increased from 15 to 16.7 percent. The increase in poverty was seen more acutely in Black and Hispanic communities.

Democratic US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Republicans are unwilling to compromise to provide more aid to the hurting American economy
Democratic US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Republicans are unwilling to compromise to provide more aid to the hurting American economy AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM