House Speaker Pelosi says ‘I’m optimistic’ on coronavirus relief deal before U.S. election

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday differences remain with President Donald administration on a wide-ranging coronavirus relief package but she was optimistic legislation could be pushed through before Election Day.


Pelosi, top elected Democrat, said she wanted a bill passed before Nov. 3 presidential election between Republican and Democrat Joe Biden but acknowledged an agreement would have to come within 48 hours for to happen.

“I’m optimistic because, again, we’ve been back and forth on all of this,” Pelosi said in an interview with ABC’ “This Week.”

However, with her negotiating , Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, in until Tuesday, a deal appears to be a long shot.

proposed a $1.8 trillion stimulus last week to help Americans struggling with the economic ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. Pelosi said the offer fell short in a range of areas including tax credits for poor people, aid to and local governments, worker protections and rent help. She has stuck to her demand for a $2.2 trillion aid and stimulus package.

The Republicans control the , however, are loath to pass another giant relief bill. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the would next week on relief measures totaling more $500 billion to target specific areas of need. Democrats have rejected so-called skinny bills with pared-down funding, saying much more is needed.

After Mnuchin said last week the broadly accepted Democrats’ language on testing, it was clear the devil was in the details.

“They took out 55% of the language we had there for testing and tracing. And the tracing part is so important because communities of color had been disproportionately affected by this,” Pelosi said on ABC.

“We don’t have agreement on the language yet. But I’m hopeful.”