House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just revealed that Congressional Democrats not only won't budge on their $3 trillion stimulus package passed by the House in May - she's upped the demand to $3.4 trillion in order to 'settle' on a deal.
Asked by CNN's Manu Raju if she still wants a stimulus deal this week, and if she has a price tag she'd be willing to settle on, Pelosi replied "Yeah, $3.4 trillion."
“We are just right now identifying the justification for what we're saying it costs -- how the money would be spent," Pelosi said. "And we're asking the same for some of the things they are talking about, so that we have a clear understanding. So it's productive in that regard.“— Manu Raju (@mkraju) August 4, 2020
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany described Pelosi's new demand as 'a mockery' of the process.
.@PressSec on the administration working with Democrats on coronavirus relief: "It is Nancy Pelosi, it is Chuck Schumer, that are making an absolute mockery of this process." pic.twitter.com/lmOCwJvfXZ— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 4, 2020
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) - who has called the $3 trillion Democratic proposal "another big laundry list" - has flat out rejected the left's package, and has instead defended the Senate GOP's $1 trillion stimulus bill.
The top Democratic and White House negotiators have held hours of talks this week in hopes of reaching a deal on another round of stimulus spending as key deadlines on extending a federal eviction moratorium and federal unemployment benefits have come and gone.
Pelosi, when asked if it's really feasible to get a deal this week given how far apart the two sides are, said, "At some point you just have to freeze the design." -CNN
The Speaker said she hopes lawmakers can reach a bipartisan agreement this week in order to hold a vote in the House by next week - which will require a Rules Committee meeting to determine the parameters for debate over the bill on the House floor.
"We are just right now identifying the justification for what we're saying it costs -- how the money would be spent," said Pelosi. "And we're asking the same for some of the things they are talking about, so that we have a clear understanding. So it's productive in that regard. And now we just have to negotiate what comes next."