Update (1015ET): CNBC's Eamon Javers tweets that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said we're "on the five-yard line" in terms of striking a deal on the stimulus package, adding that "the clock has run out. The buzzer is sounding."
McConnell continues with the sports metaphors: “The clock has run out. The buzzer is sounding.” Says Democrats need to take yes for an answer.— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) March 24, 2020
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During one of her famous phone interviews with CNBC host Jim Cramer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi assured investors that there's "real optimism that we could get something done" in the next few hours on the $2.5 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill.
Pelosi claimed that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had agreed to Democratic demands for increased oversight of a $500 billion pile of capital intended to finance corporate bailouts, money that Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren had described as a "slush fund."
"That's a big change," she insisted.
The best way to protect our economy in this crisis is to protect workers & families, who are the life-blood of it. That is why we are working to get money into the hands of workers as soon as possible. #FamiliesFirst @SquawkStreet— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) March 24, 2020
According to the speaker, Mnuchin had agreed to include language from the House bill stipulating Congressional oversight of the $500 billion in aid to ensure it won't be spent on stock buybacks or executive comp.
"We're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," Pelosi told Jim Cramer during a phone interview.
"We think the bill has move sufficiently to the side of workers," she said. It's unclear whether Mnuchin actually agreed to the oversight measures.
A few minutes before the Pelosi interview began, the Washington Post reported that Mnuchin had agreed to the oversight measures. Pelosi also said she had been willing to compromise by granting immunity to companies making masks and other equipment.
ouse Democrats released their own $2.5 billion relief plan on Monday, though it is unlikely to go anywhere, as long as the Senate agrees to some of the provisions.
Unsurprisingly, Kevin McCarthy, Pelosi's rival and the leader of the House Republicans, slammed Pelosi's claims that the bill is "good for the workers" and "the right thing for the country" by questioning how some of the Democrats' demands will help the situation.
How does bailing out the postal service save lives?— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 24, 2020
How does ballot harvesting help a family pay rent?
How does regulating airplane emissions help a small business owner keep her doors open?
They don’t. But they’re all in Speaker Pelosi’s “coronavirus response” legislation.
President Donald Trump pressed Congress again on Tuesday morning, tweeting that “Congress must approve the deal, without all the nonsense, today...The longer it takes, the harder it will be to start up our economy. Our workers will be hurt!"
Congress must approve the deal, without all of the nonsense, today. The longer it takes, the harder it will be to start up our economy. Our workers will be hurt!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2020
Beaten-down companies in the energy and materials space are leading a rebound on Tuesday as the market hopes Pelosi is telling the truth about the compromise, and that this isn't just the latest bit of political maneuvering.
Watch a clip from that Pelosi interview: