Update: It looks like the Mnuchin-Pelosi meeting is also over, and was a dud:
- *MNUCHIN HAS LEFT PELOSI OFFICE
- *MNUCHIN IS NOW WITH MCCONNELL
* * *
In a day where stocks soared higher, reversing the overnight post-debate drop, following conciliatory comments from White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, moments ago Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell poured cold water on the rally saying the Senate and House are "very, very far apart" on stimulus talks, making it clear the Senate would not come up to $2.2 trillion after earlier saying the Democrats had a poison pill in the bill likely referring to the nearly $500 billion in state and local stimulus which has been a non-starter for Senate republicans.
.@senatemajldr on the House and Senate dynamic on a coronavirus relief bill "we are very, very far apart"— Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrekwalsh) September 30, 2020
The negative response in stocks was immediate.
The reversal comes following some optimism earlier when Mark Meadows had said there has been "substantial movement from both sides" on the stimulus bill, noting that "I dont know that today has to be the drop dead deadline but, there are enough numbers and facts to have to discuss that hopefully it makes for a more meaningful conversation."
Earlier in the day, Politico reported that House Democrats are pressing ahead with their own new coronavirus aid package — without GOP support — as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House make a last-gasp attempt to strike a deal before the election.
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met in the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, their first in-person sitdown in weeks after days of calls, under immense pressure to reach a bipartisan agreement that extends a financial lifeline to tens of millions of increasingly desperate Americans.
But Pelosi and her top Democrats said on a private call Wednesday morning that the House could vote as soon as that afternoon on their own $2.2 trillion package, if the two sides remain too apart from a deal. The biggest sticking points, Pelosi said, were still state and local aid and liability protections for businesses and workers impacted by the coronavirus.
Walking into Pelosi's office, Mnuchin wouldn't speculate on the chances of a deal after weeks of stalled talks.
“I don’t know we’ll see," he told reporters. "Going to see the speaker, see if we can make some good progress today.”
Of course, even if the House passes the bill, it is dead in the Senate without McConnell's blessing. And so the fingerpointing between Democrats and Republicans over who is responsible for the lack of a much needed 5th stimulus bill, begin anew.