House postpones stimulus vote after Pelosi, Mnuchin meeting produces no deal

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Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The House on Wednesday called off a vote on a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 economic stimulus package to allow more time for negotiations.

The decision comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin emerged from a 90-minute meeting without an agreement on a new deal with time running out to pass a measure before November's election.

"Today, Secretary Mnuchin and I had an extensive conversation and we found areas where we are seeking further clarification. Our conversations will continue," Pelosi said after the meeting.

Mnuchin said the two sides had "made a lot of progress over the last few days" finding common ground on elements of the package including direct payments, small business loans and airline aid.

"We still don't have an agreement, but we have more work to do And we're going to see where we end up," he said.

House Democrats on Monday introduced the $2.2 trillion package, an update to the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act that passed in the House in May but never made the floor of the Republican-led Senate.

The measure includes $600 in weekly unemployment benefits through January and a second round of $1,200 payments mailed to taxpayers as well as a $500 check for dependents. It also sets aside $182 billion for grade schools, $39 billion for post-secondary institutions and $57 billion for childcare support, and would add finds to the Paycheck Protection Program.

A House vote on the bill does not guarantee the measure will be signed as Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has already opposed it.

House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer, however, told reporters Wednesday that lawmakers have a "responsibility to act" on pandemic relief.

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