“Speaker Pelosi’s comments on a possible shift in the talks prompted US stocks to pare losses. After falling as much as 1.2% earlier Friday, the S&P 500 Index’s decline was cut almost in half after she spoke.” — Paul Ebeling
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed optimism about negotiations with the White House on a new aid/relief/stimulus package, saying that President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis changed the tone of the talks by emphasizing the seriousness of the China virus chaos.
Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin exchanged proposals on a virus relief package Thursday night and spoke by telephone Friday afternoon for 65 mins. The talks are continuing.
Striking an optimist note was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has been dismissive of proposals from Democrats for a $2.2-T stimulus plan and has left most of the negotiations to the White House.
“I think we are closer to getting an outcome,” Leader McConnell said at an event Friday in Kentucky.
Speaker Pelosi in a letter Friday to House Democrat said there remain 5 areas of “significant disagreement” with the White House that were topics in her call with Mnuchin.
They are mostly the same issues that have stood in the way of a deal for weeks:
- funding for unemployment insurance;
- money for schools and state and local governments;
- amounts for the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit;
- restrictions on use of testing money; and
- $44-B gap on appropriated discretionary funding.
Democrats accuse Senate Republicans and the White House of not recognizing the extent of damage that the coronavirus pandemic has caused and how big a threat remains.
“This kind of changes the dynamic,” Speaker Pelosi said Friday of President Trump’s diagnosis. “Here, they see the reality of what we have been saying all along.”
Democrats in the House Thursday passed a $2.2-T package, down from the $3.4-T plan they passed in May, as their offer in the latest talks. Secretary Mnuchin has proposed a plan of $1.6-T.
Speaker Pelosi is under increasing pressure from her swing-district moderate members to get a deal quickly, and 18 of them voted against the Democratic package Thursday in order to urge bipartisan talks.
The leaders of the Blue Dog Coalition are preparing to send a letter to the Speaker calling for negotiations through the weekend to get a deal and keep Congress in town.
“Now that both the White House and House Democrats have put forward serious proposals, we urge you to continue the discussions over the weekend until a deal is achieved,” the letter stated.
In 1 sign of the how the economic pressure may be affecting the negotiations, Speaker Pelosi said Friday that she would support an extension of aid for airlines either as part of a broader package or as a standalone bill. She previously had resisted any piecemeal approach to the stimulus.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-CA) said the lawmakers could move quickly to provide the airline aid. But the House went on recess Friday without acting on a bill to provide the aid. It still could be taken up next week if no lawmaker objects.
American Airlines Group Inc. (NYSE:AAL) and United Airlines Holdings Inc. (NYSE:DAL) have gone ahead with job cuts, trimming a total of 32,000 workers as of Thursday. Both carriers said they would rescind the layoffs if aid was forthcoming with the next few days.
Again, Speaker Pelosi’s comments on a possible shift in the talks prompted U.S. stocks to pare loses. After falling as much as 1.2% earlier Friday, the S&P 500 Index’s decliner was cut nearly 50% after she spoke.
“In my opinion as both a senior economist and businessman, Nancy Pelosi has to step aside in the negotiations for a new stimulus bill. She knows nothing of business and does not recognize what the economy really needs. First and foremost, people need help in putting food on the table and providing shelter for their families. That means rents have to be subsidized and there must be more mortgage relief.
“Second, the homeless problem must be specifically addressed. Giving money to States without specific expenditure demands is a waste of money for that only furthers them in their mismanagements.
“Third, major and critical industries must be specifically addressed, especially the airline industry. Letting 32,000 people leave the employment ranks is unconscionable but what does Pelosi care for she continues to get paid regardless of the economic recovery.
“Fourth, money for police reform and retraining must be addressed in order to reduce street tensions and rioting to bring this country back to a civilized basis. and the lists goes on and on for the focus must be a street business approach to cause real business stimulus while at the same time addressing the people’s needs which also includes drug rehabilitation, not favorite, District directed pet project.
“So, Ms. Pelosi, a ‘largely symbolic’ COVID-19 relief bill is not the answer. You must put aside election year politicking and look for answers of economic relief and stimulus – both of which seem to be only superficially covered in your current proposal. It is not the $2.2 trillion that I am concerned about, which unto itself only feeds the deficit but the quality and accountability of the spending that concerns me. Financial institutions can not always fatten their wallets at their customers expense.
“Where are their contributions to our recovery?
“Perhaps a refreshing start would be to break tour $2.2 trillion down line item by line item and to explain the purpose plus rationale of each line item, just like we do it business. We call it budget justification and anticipated effect just like we do in business in putting forth a Definable Business Plans, not a Politician’s personal self-voting getting lists,” says Bruce WD Barren, Chairman of The EMCO/ Hanover Group, an international corporate middle-market expert.
Have a healthy weekend, Keep the Faith!