Pelosi says coronavirus relief before election ‘depends on’ Trump administration

The deal must be made in the next 48 hours

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a weekly news conference, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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As Democrats and Republicans battle over a coronavirus relief bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she’s “hopeful” they can strike a deal to provide aid to Americans before the presidential election.

That agreement must be made in the next 48 hours to get the bill passed before Election Day on Nov. 3.

“I’m optimistic because again we’ve been back-and-forth on all of this,” Pelosi said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

“We don’t have agreement in the language yet, but I’m hopeful,” she said.

The speaker said a coronavirus relief deal before the election “depends on the (Trump) administration.”

Trump a couple of weeks ago said there wouldn’t be a deal before the election, and that the Senate should focus on the Supreme Court appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Pelosi’s statements on Sunday come in the wake of her speaking with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Saturday night.

“While there was some encouraging news on testing, there remains work to do to ensure there is a comprehensive testing plan that includes contact tracing and additional measures to address the virus’ disproportionate impact on communities of color,” Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill tweeted. “There remains an array of additional differences as we go provision by provision that must be addressed in a comprehensive manner in the next 48 hours.”

In the spring, the Democrat-led House passed a $3 trillion bill but the Republican-led Senate did not move that forward.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Saturday said the Senate will vote this week on a $500 billion bill.

“If Speaker Pelosi ever lets the House reach a bipartisan agreement with the Administration, the Senate would of course consider it. But Americans need help now,” McConnell said in a statement. “Working families have spent months waiting for Speaker Pelosi’s Marie Antoinette act to stop. They should not have to wait any longer.

“Next week, Senate Republicans will move to break this logjam,” he added. “The Senate will vote on hundreds of billions of dollars for targeted relief programs that Democrats do not even claim to oppose. Nobody thinks this $500B+ proposal would resolve every problem forever. It would deliver huge amounts of additional help to workers and families right now while Washington keeps arguing over the rest.”

McConnell said the bill would fund more unemployment benefits, a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program to keep jobs at small businesses, help make schools safe, and more.

The coronavirus relief bill negotiations continue as unemployment remains high across the country, and as the U.S. continues to report the most virus deaths and cases in the world.