Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he will try to revive stalled stimulus talks with congressional Democrats, the first sign in weeks of possible movement on virus relief in the waning days of the Trump administration.
Mnuchin said he will talk with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy Friday about about a strategy on an approach to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.
“We are going to come up with a plan to sit down with Pelosi and Schumer and try to get a targeted bill done for the people that really need it, and hopefully the Democrats will work with us and hopefully that will get done,” Mnuchin said on CNBC.
Pelosi and Schumer this week wrote to McConnell asking him to return to the negotiating table on a stimulus bill, but so far have given no indication they are willing to lower their demands for a $2.4 trillion bill.
McConnell has repeatedly said the starting point for talks should be the $500 billion measure backed by Senate Republicans, which would not provide direct $1,200 stimulus payments or aid to state and local governments.
On Thursday, aides to Pelosi, McConnell, Schumer and McCarthy met to discuss a separate $1.4 trillion regular government funding bill needed to keep the government open after Dec. 11. Some lawmakers have suggested that a stimulus package could be added to that bill as time runs out before the congressional Christmas holiday to vote on a deal. Congress returns to work Nov. 30 and is expected to adjourn no later than Dec. 18.