WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke for about 50 minutes on Tuesday in an effort to reach a compromise on coronavirus relief legislation, and they plan further talks on Wednesday, a spokesman for Pelosi said.
“The two went over the provisions of the updated Heroes Act and agreed to speak again tomorrow,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said on Twitter, referring to a $2.2 trillion measure being drafted by House Democrats.
Pelosi has taken the lead for Democrats in trying to reach a compromise with the Trump administration on a further coronavirus relief bill.
Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer had been pressing for a $3.4 trillion relief package, but have scaled back their demands. House lawmakers are now eyeing the possibility of a $2.2 trillion bill.
In an interview with CNBC, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow made clear that the White House views that figure as too high.
“There are things, I think, that both sides agree with but then the other team wants a gigantic package and we don’t think we need that,” he said.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has previously said that Trump would be willing to sign a $1.3 trillion measure.
Pelosi on Monday called on the Trump administration to raise its offer. “He has to come back with much more money to get the job done,” she said of Mnuchin in an interview with MSNBC.
Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Andrea Ricci