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Pelosi and Mnuchin clash as stimulus talks falter

October 29, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the two top negotiators for a new round of coronavirus relief, are engaged in a public war of words after weeks of private negotiations — casting new doubt on whether congressional Democrats and the Trump administration will be able to reach agreement on stimulus legislation even after next week's election.

(CNN)House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the two top negotiators for a new round of coronavirus relief, are engaged in a public war of words after weeks of private negotiations — casting new doubt on whether congressional Democrats and the Trump administration will be able to reach agreement on stimulus legislation even after next week's election.

On Thursday afternoon, Mnuchin slammed Pelosi in their highest-profile clash so far, saying the speaker is refusing to compromise to get much-needed aid to Americans.

His remarks came after Pelosi sent her own letter to Mnuchin earlier Thursday that emphasized just how divided the two sides remain on the details of a potential stimulus bill and hit the Trump administration for not accepting Democratic demands on key issues including funding for state and local governments, school safety provisions, childcare and unemployment insurance.

Mnuchin said he first learned of Pelosi's letter from reports in the press Thursday morning, and he "can unfortunately only conclude that it is a political stunt. "

When everyone else had essentially given up on the idea of another round of coronavirus relief over the summer, Pelosi and Mnuchin continued to have phone calls to negotiate and work toward a deal.

But Pelosi and Mnuchin continued to insist progress was being made — and sometimes it was — as they held talks and exchanged language for the legislation.

"These responses are needed so that talks can advance to deliver coronavirus relief as soon as possible," Hammill said.

Pelosi said she wants to advance legislation before the presidential inauguration in January because "first and foremost, the American people need help. "

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