Republicans Clash on Stimulus as Trump Says ‘Go Big’ and McConnell Demurs


In a nearly 90-minute phone conversation with Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Mnuchin reiterated his willingness to accept Democratic language with “minor” edits and said he would provide a proposal on Friday, Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Ms. Pelosi, said in a statement summarizing the conversation. “The speaker looks forward to reviewing.”

But a number of unresolved differences remain, such as how much money to provide to state and local governments and lapsed federal unemployment benefits.

Investors, who have been following the stimulus talks closely, seemed unmoved by statements from Mr. Trump and Mr. Mnuchin on Thursday, with stocks on Wall Street dropping for a third consecutive day. And Senate Republicans, who have grown increasingly frustrated with Mr. Mnuchin’s willingness to buck their narrow proposals and capitulate to Ms. Pelosi’s demands for a sweeping relief package, were equally reticent about the prospects of a deal before Nov. 3.

“I’m proposing what we think is appropriate,” Mr. McConnell said after voting in Louisville, Ky., when asked about the targeted bill he was preparing. At later events in the state, he noted that the administration had not yet successfully reached a deal and said he felt “it was important to indicate to the American people before the election — not after — that we were not in favor of a stalemate, that we were not in favor of doing nothing.”

Mr. McConnell, who has not formally unveiled legislation before an expected vote next week, said it would be similar to a scaled-down package that Senate Republicans proposed in September, which failed to meet the 60-vote threshold.

While some Democrats have pushed for Ms. Pelosi to accept a smaller relief package, she has insisted that the toll of the pandemic merits another broad package. With the original Democratic offer costing about $3.4 trillion, the speaker has repeatedly argued that she has been more than willing to compromise with her Republican counterparts, counseling Democrats in a private phone call on Tuesday that “I don’t think our leverage has ever been greater than it is now.”

“The disdain that they have for the state and local, the contempt that they have for science by not wanting to have a national strategic plan, and again, the unfairness when it comes to America’s workers, is a tough nut to crack.,” Ms. Pelosi said in an interview on MSNBC on Wednesday. “Still and all, we want to try and find our common ground.”





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