The fate of additional stimulus for the U.S. economy before next month’s election will be decided this week, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi setting a Tuesday deadline to reach an agreement with the White House -- though it remains doubtful that the Republican-controlled Senate will accept any deal they strike.

President Donald Trump said he’s ready to match the $2.2 trillion spending levels demanded by Democrats -- or go higher -- despite repeated warnings by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that most GOP senators will oppose any coronavirus relief package that big.

“I want at a bigger number than she wants,” Trump said of Pelosi during a campaign stop Sunday in Reno, Nevada. “That doesn’t mean all the Republicans agree with me, but I think they will in the end.”

But the price-tag isn’t the only obstacle. Pelosi said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the two sides are still haggling over language on a national plan to control the virus. Differences also remain on several key issues, including aid to states and GOP demands for an employer liability shield, that have stalled a deal for months.

Tuesday’s deadline “only relates to if we want to get it done before the election, which we do,” Pelosi said, indicating they could continue talking about passing a stimulus measure after Nov. 3.

While Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and their staffs press on with negotiations, McConnell is moving ahead with $500 billion Republican-only plan that would renew a small business loan program and provide expanded unemployment benefits, school aid and money for virus testing, among other provisions.

McConnell plans votes Tuesday on a standalone bill to give the Paycheck Protection Program more funding, and Wednesday on the other measures. Democrats are almost certain to block action.

Despite the standoff, and recent data showing the economic recovery is slowing, markets so far mostly have shrugged off Washington’s inability to act. The S&P 500 share index closed little changed on Friday, while still notching its longest weekly advance since August. Futures climbed in trading Monday morning.

Trump now has upped his administration’s ante in the talks and continues to express confidence that reluctant Republicans will follow his lead. If Pelosi would go along with the administration’s offer, “I think they would too on stimulus,” he told reporters in Reno. “So let’s see what happens.”

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said that he has spoken with McConnell, and that if there’s a deal between Pelosi and the administration, the Republican leader will “bring it to the floor, it will get a vote and hopefully we’ll get stimulus on the way to the American people.” Meadows also said, “We’re making very very good progress” in the talks.

First « 1 2 3 » Next