On a private call to House Democratic student in the first year Legislature Tuesday also signaled so much Pelosi. The spokesman said the negotiations were stuck and said the Democrats had made their offer and that it was now up to the Republican leaders to come to the table and compromise, the sources said.
This is the fight Mnuchin is entering – and some Republicans are unsure if he is ready to navigate. This is because there is a difficult hurdle in Congress that is now officially interrupted until May 4, as lawmakers do their part to stop the spread of the corona virus. Legislators can derail the legislation in pro forma meetings that each chamber holds twice a week.
And the Republicans say Mnuchin cannot negotiate on behalf of the entire GOP exactly as necessary, unlike in normal times when 60 votes rule the day in the Senate and a bipartisan coalition can dampen objections from the party̵
“I don’t see us giving in. I just don’t,” said Kennedy. “Secretary Mnuchin can do whatever business he wants to do with spokesman Pelosi. I’ll definitely take a look at them, but I think it’s going to be a tough time in the Senate.”
“Mnuchin does not represent the Congress Republicans in their entirety,” said a Senate Republican adviser. “But that’s exactly what you need with UC (unanimous approval). If Mnuchin does business, he’s better willing to sell it to our conference. And he’d better have the President on board.”
Trump has said that he wants nothing more than relief for small businesses in the preliminary relief bill, and this week tweeted that he was “refilling the account now!”
The finance department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. And Republicans have generally praised Mnuchin’s responsiveness in the Treasury over the past few weeks, even if they’re not pushing him to do a deal with Democrats.
And there is no sign that someone is bending. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in an interview on Tuesday that the Democrats’ requests are worthwhile, but should be negotiated later. The paycheck protection program, she argued, was now needed and she begged Democrats to give up their demands to expand the scope of the package.
Not affected by the Republicans’ attacks on their position, Pelosi issued a statement Wednesday afternoon stating that she was sticking to her original demands.
“Democrats know that the paycheck protection program must work for everyone to be successful,” said Pelosi when funds ran out. “As has been clear since last week, the Republican bill, which does not address these critical issues, cannot be unanimously approved in-house.”
“I am really surprised that Sen. Schumer does not see the need to replenish this program. This does not mean that there are no other programs that do not warrant additional funding, but this program will certainly expire,” said Collins, one of the most suitable republicans to make a deal.
McConnell could decide to try again on Thursday to adopt his package and force the Democrats to block it. And just like last week, the Democrats might decide to offer their proposal and watch McConnell spurn them.
The house has its own pro forma session on Friday, a deadline that Hoyer hopes negotiators can meet to agree on an interim contract. But privately, the consultants from both parties say that the dealmakers in Congress appear to be much further apart and predict that the dead end could carry over to the next week.
Marianne LeVine contributed to this story.