American flags are displayed in the Rose Garden ahead of the announcement of US President Donald Trump's nominee for associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court during a ceremony at the White House in Washington.(Bloomberg)
American flags are displayed in the Rose Garden ahead of the announcement of US President Donald Trump's nominee for associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court during a ceremony at the White House in Washington.(Bloomberg)

Top Democrat expresses hope deal can be reached with White House on Covid-19 relief

With formal Covid-19 relief talks stalled for weeks, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal on Thursday said Democratic lawmakers were starting to draft a bill totaling at least $2.2 trillion.
Washington | By Reuters | Posted by Arpan Rai
PUBLISHED ON SEP 27, 2020 11:19 PM IST

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said on Sunday she thinks a deal can be reached with the White House on a coronavirus relief package and that talks were continuing.

“We are having our conversations. And when I have a conversation with the administration, it is in good faith,” Pelosi said on CNN. “I trust (Treasury) Secretary (Steve) Mnuchin to represent something that can reach a solution. And I believe we can come to an agreement.”

Formal talks between Pelosi, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows aimed at hammering out a relief package broke down on Aug. 7 with the two sides far apart. Pelosi and Mnuchin have since spoken by phone.

With formal Covid-19 relief talks stalled for weeks, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal on Thursday said Democratic lawmakers were starting to draft a bill totaling at least $2.2 trillion.

Pelosi on Sunday said it was “definitely a possibility” that she would offer legislation in the coming days if the impasse with the Trump administration continued but said she would rather have a deal with the White House than a “rhetorical argument.”

Any legislation the Democratic-led House might approve would be unlikely to advance in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans.

Pelosi and Schumer had originally sought a $3.4 trillion relief package but have scaled back their demands. Meadows has previously said that Trump would be willing to sign a $1.3 trillion bill.

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