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Pelosi says White House has to offer more on stimulus for a deal
[WASHINGTON] US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the White House will have to agree to "much more" spending for a fresh round of stimulus if there is any hope of striking a deal before the election.
Ms Pelosi said she talked with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday and plans to discuss the stimulus with him again on Monday.
She held out hopes that they still can find a way to bridge the roughly US$1 trillion gap between them on a plan to bolster the economy.
"We can get this done," Ms Pelosi said Monday on MSNBC, while emphasising that more money is needed to combat the pandemic, safely open schools and businesses and help Americans hurt by recession.
"When he's ready to come back to the table we're ready to have that conversation," Ms Pelosi said. "But he has to come back with much more money to get the job done."
The sides have been at an impasse since August, and time is running out for a deal before the Nov 3 election.
Ms Pelosi has been insisting that the White House agree to at least US$2.2 trillion in new aid, including funds for cash-strapped state and local governments and US$600 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits. But the Democratic demands have since grown to US$2.4 trillion.
President Donald Trump has indicated he could support as much as US$1.5 trillion in aid, higher than the US$650 billion put forth in a "skinny" aid package by Senate Republicans.
On Sunday, Ms Pelosi said on CNN's "State of the Union" that she and House Democrats would be making a new "proffer" in the negotiations soon, and that details would be outlined in a draft bill they will be ready to vote on even if there is no deal.