Nancy Pelosi and Steven Mnuchin continue talks on a relief package.


Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday refused to rule out the chance of reaching an agreement with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on another coronavirus relief package, even as she outlined several critical differences with the Trump administration and signaled that House Democrats would press ahead with their own legislation.

“We’re hopeful that we can reach an agreement because the needs of the American people are great,” Ms. Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. “But there has to be a recognition that it takes money to do that, and it takes the right language to make sure it’s done right.”

Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Mnuchin spoke at 1 p.m., and a spokesman for Ms. Pelosi, Drew Hammill, said the pair was expected to speak again in the afternoon.

“The two discussed further clarifications on amounts and language, but distance on key areas remain,” Mr. Hammill said on Twitter.

The two remain at odds over the scope of the package, with Democrats pushing a new $2.2 trillion plan unveiled earlier this week and Mr. Mnuchin bringing a $1.6 trillion offer to a 90-minute meeting in Ms. Pelosi’s Capitol Hill suite on Wednesday.

The stalemate comes as several industries, notably airlines, are running into severe financial constraints as the virus persists and people continue to shy away from traveling. United Airlines and American Airlines began furloughs of 30,000 workers on Thursday after Congress was unable to come up with a fresh aid package for the industry.

House Democrats, under pressure from rank-and-file lawmakers eager to return to their districts with news of a deal, are expected to vote on the $2.2 trillion plan on Thursday.

Democratic leaders had delayed plans to vote on the legislation on Wednesday, in an effort to give the talks between Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Mnuchin time to produce an agreement.

Ms. Pelosi insisted that approval of the House Democratic plan did not signal the end of negotiations, telling reporters, “It just says, you asked, here’s what it is — this is how we came down” from their initial $3.4 trillion proposal approved in May.





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