Nancy Pelosi blasts the White House's $1.6 trillion stimulus plan, saying it's not even 'half a loaf'

Nancy Pelosi blasts the White House's $1.6 trillion stimulus plan, saying it's not even 'half a loaf'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on August 13, 2020.Shen/Xinhua via Getty Images
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted the White House's $1.6 trillion spending plan on Thursday, saying it wasn't even "half a loaf."
  • "What they're offering is the heel of the loaf," Pelosi said in a Bloomberg TV interview.
  • The White House plan's hefty price tag could be a gamble, given that many Senate Republicans oppose spending large sums of federal money that could swell the national debt.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore into the White House's $1.6 trillion stimulus package on Thursday, saying it wouldn't do enough to address the twin economic and public-health crises stemming from the pandemic.

"This isn't half a loaf. What they're offering is the heel of the loaf," Pelosi said in a Bloomberg TV interview, adding that "it's no use going into a negotiation if you say, 'I'll just take the path of least resistance.'"

The California Democrat brought up a new area of contention between Democrats and the Trump administration: the child tax credit, which reduces the taxes owed by families with kids 17 and under. House Democrats are seeking to give people with children the option of receiving a modest monthly federal payment regardless of their income.
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Pelosi told Bloomberg that the White House excluded all funding for the credit, which 40 million families claim every year.

Earlier in the day, she said she was cautiously optimistic about striking a bigger spending deal with the White House. Democrats this week rolled out a $2.2 trillion spending plan that includes a $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit, another wave of $1,200 stimulus checks, and aid to states and small businesses.

"We're hopeful that we can reach agreement, because the needs of the American people are so great," Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill. "But there has to be a recognition that it takes money to do that."
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The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, confirmed on Thursday that the administration put forward a $1.6 trillion proposal in coronavirus relief negotiations with Democrats. She called it "a good proposal" with more spending than what Republicans had unveiled.

But McEnany said Pelosi was "not being serious" with her insistence on robust spending. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Pelosi have been in talks for five days straight. Read more: BlackRock's investment chief breaks down why Congress passing a second round of fiscal stimulus is 'quite serious' for markets and the economy — and pinpoints which sectors will benefit in either scenario
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The White House's plan could be a tough sell to Republicans

The White House plan's hefty price tag could be a gamble, given that many Senate Republicans oppose spending large sums of federal money that could swell the national debt.

But pressure has risen on lawmakers to strike a deal before they adjourn next week until after the election. Millions of Americans are out of work and struggling to afford food and rent. And many economists have urged Congress to authorize additional spending to keep people and businesses afloat.

Both the Democratic-led House and the GOP-controlled Senate have to approve identical relief legislation and send it to President Donald Trump's desk for it to become law.
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Key elements of the White House's plan include:

  • $300 billion for another round of direct payments to taxpayers.
  • $300 billion for $400 weekly federal unemployment benefits through January 1.
  • $250 billion for aid to state and local governments.
  • $175 billion in health spending, coronavirus testing, and contact tracing.
  • $160 billion for small-business aid through the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • $150 billion for education and aiding school reopenings.
  • $100 billion for restaurants in dire financial straits.

Democrats and the Trump administration agree on including stimulus checks in another relief package, as well as providing money to help small businesses and schools.

Still, big differences remain. The administration is seeking to implement a federal unemployment benefit that's $200 per week less than what Democrats want. And it would provide less in federal aid to cash-strapped states.
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tore into the Democratic plan on Wednesday, characterizing it as outlandish. "We're very, very far apart on a deal," McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Read more: Stimulus talks press on as dealmakers push for another boost to unemployment payments. Here's everything you need to know about the rescue package.

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