Trump keeps promising a coronavirus relief package will be passed after the election — but Democrats say they are still far apart on a stimulus deal

Joseph Zeballos-Roig
·4 min read
Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images; Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
  • Trump and Pelosi are both hoping for an economic relief package after the election.

  • "Right after the election, we'll get it one way or the other," Trump said on a podcast interview.

  • "First and foremost the American people need help. They need real help," Pelosi said at a weekly press conference.

  • But there still appear to be significant differences remaining between the White House and Democrats on numerous issues.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump is doubling down on his promise to pass a coronavirus relief package after the election, but Democrats say many differences remain before a stimulus deal is reached.

During a podcast interview with reality TV host Jon Taffer, Trump said an economic aid package would be passed after Election Day on November 3.

"Once we get past the election, we're going to get it. It may be bipartisan, it may not have to be," Trump said. "Right after the election, we'll get it one way or the other."

Trump also said at a Pennsylvania rally on Tuesday: "After the election, we'll get the best stimulus package you've ever seen."

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference she hoped a relief package would pass after the election as well. She predicted Democratic nominee Joe Biden would defeat Trump to win the presidency.

"I want a bill for two reasons. First and foremost the American people need help. They need real help," Pelosi said. And second of all, we have plenty of work to do in a Joe Biden administration ... so we want to have as clean a slate as possible going into January."

Read more: A $2.5 billion investment chief highlights the stock-market sectors poised to benefit the most if stimulus is passed after the election — and says Trump ending negotiations doesn't threaten the economic recovery

Yet there still appear to be significant differences between White House and top Democratic congressional leaders. Pelosi sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday outlining six areas of disagreement on virus testing, childcare, unemployment benefits, state aid, and tax credits among others. It was first reported in Politico Playbook.

"Your responses are critical for our negotiations to continue," Pelosi wrote to Mnuchin.

"The American people are suffering, and they want us to come to an agreement to save lives, livelihoods and the life of our American Democracy as soon as possible," Pelosi said in the letter. "In light of these challenges, I respectfully await your attention to these urgent matters."

Mnuchin fired back on Thursday afternoon, charging Pelosi with pulling a "political stunt" with her letter that appeared in Politico. He said the White House was willing to compromise on unemployment, aid to state and local governments, and school funding among others.

"I have spoken with you almost every day for the last 45 days in an attempt to reach a serious bipartisan compromise that would benefit the hard-working Americans who have been impacted by COVID-19," Mnuchin wrote.

 

"Your ALL OR NONE approach is hurting hard-working Americans who need help NOW," Mnuchin said.

The unresolved differences listed in Pelosi's letter echo another sent to the treasury secretary over two weeks ago, suggesting there's been little progress on the shape of a stimulus package. The pair are negotiating on one costing nearly $2 trillion that would include federal unemployment benefits, $1,200 direct payments, and small business aid among other provisions.

The relief talks have been chaotic over the past month with the president's changing positions on the need for a stimulus package. 

Stocks have fallen sharply with the Dow Jones industrial average dropping over 1,600 points since Monday. Virus cases and hospitalizations are surging in most states, and investors are grappling with the realization no stimulus package is arriving anytime soon. The index recouped a small amount of those losses on Thursday.

Pelosi suggested on Wednesday the recent stock slide could force Trump to strike a deal more quickly. But White House National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow told Fox News that wasn't the case.

In another interview, he provided a very downbeat assessment on further relief in the short term, and accused Pelosi of not acting in good faith.

"We just think she's stringing us along. I'm sorry to say that," Kudlow told The Washington Post.  "It's not personal, but I don't think she wants a deal or a compromise pre-election."

Many economists are calling for additional federal spending to prop up the economy as it displays signs of weakening. Job growth slowed in September compared to previous months, and permanent layoffs are rising. Nearly 1.1 million people filed for unemployment last week, the Labor Department reported.

The latest GDP report released Thursday showed the US economy expanded 7.4% during the third quarter of the year, a record stretch of growth. But the economy is still smaller compared to late 2019 before the pandemic caused a massive wave of job losses and small business failures.

Read the original article on Business Insider