Sunday Talk Shows

Pelosi says chances of passing COVID-19 stimulus before election depend on Trump administration

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Sunday that the chances of passing a COVID-19 stimulus package before the election depend on the Trump administration.

Pelosi said on ABC's "This Week" that she and administration negotiators, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are "seeking clarity" and "don't have agreement language yet."

The Speaker said Democrats want to reach an agreement before the election but added that "we have to freeze the design" of the language. 

"With all due respect to some of the people in the president's administration, they're not legislators," she said. "So when they said we're accepting the language on testing, for example, they're just making a light touch. They said they changed shall to may, requirements to recommendations, a plan to a strategy, not a strategic plan. They took out 55 percent of the language that we had there for testing and tracing."

The Speaker said the Democrats had "pages and pages of how you would" test and trace in minority communities, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. 

She said the administration "crossed it all out" and replaced it with a statement saying the CDC "can provide guidance to the states" on a testing and tracing strategy. 

ABC's George Stephanopoulos pushed the Speaker, asking, "Bottom line ... are Americans going to get relief before Election Day?"

"Well that depends on the administration," Pelosi responded. "The fact is that we cannot - the heart of the matter is to stop the spread of the virus."

Pelosi and Trump officials have been negotiating another COVID-19 stimulus deal for months, hitting roadblocks along the way. 

The president proposed a $1.8 trillion stimulus package earlier this month, sparking backlash from Senate Republicans, but White House adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday that he thinks Trump could get enough GOP senators to support a deal before Election Day. 

The Speaker has been calling for more spending, rejecting a previous Senate Republican proposal for not providing enough funding.

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