During a speech at The Milken Institute Mnuchin said he spent an hour on the phone with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Wednesday, but added that securing an agreement before the election might be a stretch.
Disagreements run deeper than top-line spending amounts and include several disparate spending priorities.
Mnuchin pointed specifically to funding for state and local governments – which has been a point of contention for months – as one main area of disagreement.
The Treasury Secretary indicated Democrats’ resistance may be politically motivated, as they may believe approving a stimulus package in the weeks leading up to the election could provide a boost to President Trump’s poll numbers.
Democrats have come down more than $1.2 trillion from their original stimulus proposal – while Republicans have come up from their original target of $1 trillion or less.
The $1.8 trillion proposal put forth by Mnuchin on Friday is the largest Republican-sponsored offer to-date.
Pelosi, however, quickly dismissed that proposal as inadequate.
The House speaker appeared resistant to compromise on a $2.2 trillion proposal during a tense interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday.
When Blitzer asked her why she refused to give up some of her priorities in order to strike a deal to help struggling Americans, Pelosi asked Blitzer whether he had “any idea” what the difference in spending priorities were between the Democrats’ proposal versus the Republicans’.
“It is unfortunate that we do not have shared values with this White House,” Pelosi said. “I have every confidence in the arguments that we make because it’s based on science and documentation.”
Pelosi referenced provisions in the GOP bill – including two tax measures as well as the administration’s alleged unwillingness to address the coronavirus crisis – as seemingly irreconcilable differences in ongoing negotiations.
She has drawn criticism from some of her Democratic colleagues for her refusal to consider the proposal.