“The 48 only refers to whether we want to make it before the election, which we do,” Pelosi said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week”. “But we tell them we have to freeze the design for some of these things. Are we going to deal with that or not? And what is the language.”
Pelosi’s office told CNN Sunday that the 48 hours refer to the end of the day on Tuesday and that by then they need answers to important open questions or that they cannot get a bill before the election. Negotiations would continue after Tuesday if no agreement is reached, but not in time for election day.
The California Democrat also said during the interview with ABC that the White House had watered down the language. The Democrats have been pushing for a national plan for Covid-19 testing and contact tracing. She also noted that the Trump administration changed much of the language on testing and tracking after the two sides apparently reached an agreement last week.
“They took out 55% of the language we had there for testing and tracking,” Pelosi said, noting that they are looking for “clarity” on the details of the language.
Pelosi and Mnuchin, Trump’s negotiators, spoke for more than an hour Saturday night.
The pressure to reach an agreement is with rising unemployment, an epidemic of small business closures and the end of direct payments and increased unemployment insurance that have helped boost families and individuals during the economic stalemate caused by the pandemic, became more and more urgent.
The upcoming outcome could be disastrous, according to economists, if Congress and the Trump administration fail to reach an agreement.
This story has been updated with additional background information.