Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California on Saturday panned the administration’s latest proposal for a coronavirus relief package — and at $1.8 trillion its largest — telling her Democratic colleagues that a number of divisions remained in her negotiations with the White House, including over aid for families and state and local governments.
“This proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back,” Ms. Pelosi wrote in a letter to House Democrats. “At this point, we still have disagreement on many priorities, and Democrats are awaiting language from the administration on several provisions as the negotiations on the overall funding amount continue.”
Ms. Pelosi’s lackluster response signaled that the administration’s renewed urgency for a relief package had not managed to bridge the sharp divides and political headwinds that have imperiled efforts to infuse the shuddering economy with tens of billions of dollars in relief.
The $1.8 trillion proposal that Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, put forward on Friday was the administration’s largest offer since bipartisan negotiations began in late summer. The proposal came just days after President Trump abruptly ended negotiations and then reversed course.
Multiple Senate Republicans have voiced concern that any agreement that passes muster with the speaker and her top lieutenants will be too costly for them to secure an agreement.
Ms. Pelosi ticked off a number of stark divides with the administration, including the lack of a national strategy to contain the spread of the virus, and what she deemed to be inadequate funding for child care and supplemental unemployment insurance benefits. Ms. Pelosi also said the administration had not agreed to her push for tax credits to help families.
Democrats have also demanded billions of dollars for state and local governments, and Ms. Pelosi said the administration’s funding level “remains sadly inadequate.”