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Pelosi says Trump’s COVID diagnosis has improved the odds for another stimulus package

October 2, 2020, 7:08 PM UTC

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On Friday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC viewers that President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 test result is likely to bolster the odds of a stimulus deal getting passed.

“This kind of changes the dynamic,” Pelosi said. “[The White House will] see the reality of what we have been saying all along. This is a vicious virus.”

Earlier this week the White House upped its offer from $1.3 trillion to $1.6 trillion, however, Democratic leaders said that wasn’t enough aid. So on Thursday, House Democrats passed the revised $2.2 trillion Heroes Act. That bill is unlikely to get a vote in the Senate.

But as negotiations move forward, Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis, Pelosi says, could help the president realize that more aid is needed to address the deadly pandemic. “We’ll find our middle ground … we’ll get the job done,” Pelosi said.

While the two parties disagree on the dollar size of the next stimulus package, they do agree on lots of the spending areas. Both parties reaffirmed support this week for another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for adults and $500 for dependents. Both parties support more funding for education, coronavirus-related projects, mortgage and rental assistance, food programs, and state and local government funding.

Their main areas of disagreement—outside of the total package size—are on items like a steep increase in federal aid to state and local governments, which Democrats support, and COVID-19 lawsuit immunity for businesses, which Republicans support. And Republicans would like to see $400 weekly enhanced unemployment benefits, while Democrats would like it to go back to $600 per week.