US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that another Covid-19 stimulus plan was still possible as Democrat lawmakers were trying to forge ahead on a smaller aid package worth about $2.4 trillion.
The House Democrats had unveiled a $3 trillion relief proposal in May, which didn’t gain support from the Republicans.
In late July, Senate Republicans released their $1 trillion proposal, but lawmakers failed to bridge their differences before the August recess.
Earlier this month, the Senate again failed to advance a Republican Covid-19 relief bill, which contained roughly $650 billion in total spending, with new funding of around $300 billion and repurposed previously approved spending of $350 billion.
It also included extra weekly unemployment benefits at a reduced level of $300, but Democrats want to maintain the $600 benefits.
Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Pelosi said: “When I have a conversation with the administration, it is in good faith. I trust Treasury Secretary (Steven) Mnuchin to represent something that can reach a solution, and I believe we can come to an agreement.
“However, at some point, the public is going to have to see why $2.2 or now $2.4 trillion dollars is necessary.
“The President’s denial of the virus and just resistance to doing anything to crush it has made matters worse… So we may need more money than that. And we will reveal what that is in a short period of time.”
Earlier last month, President Donald Trump signed several orders to extend certain Covid-19 economic relief, but analysts believe that those measures are unlikely to provide a meaningful boost to the overall economy.
Economists have warned that the US economy is at serious risk of sliding back into recession if the White House and Congress couldn’t reach a deal on another fiscal rescue package in the coming months.
As the coronavirus continues to spread across the US, jobless claims rose to 870,000 last week and the stock markets remain volatile, according to a CNBC News report.