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Pelosi 'optimistic' of stimulus agreement with the White House before the weekend. 'Both sides are serious about finding a compromise.'

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is "optimistic" of agreeing a stimulus deal with the White House before the weekend, she said Tuesday.
  • A deal agreed this week could pass into law before the November 3 election, she said.
  • Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin found "common ground" Tuesday, and Pelosi said "both sides are serious about finding a compromise."
  • But Senate Republicans remain set to block the deal, set to be worth more than $1.8 trillion, from becoming law. 
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that she was "optimistic" of agreeing a stimulus package with the White House by the end of the week, after her and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin established more "common ground" during a phone conversation.

Pelosi is pushing for a $2.2 trillion stimulus package — the White House is offering $1.88 trillion, but Senate Republicans warned Tuesday they would likely block any deal worth $1.8 trillion or higher.

After her latest call with Mnuchin on Tuesday afternoon, Pelosi told Bloomberg: "I'm optimistic because I do think we have a shared value … we want to crush the virus."

When asked about the chances of agreeing a compromise this week, Pelosi said: "That's the plan. That's what I would hope."

Pelosi had previously set a Tuesday deadline for an agreement, but walked that back, and said that a deal agreed this week could pass into law before the November 3 election.

In a letter to House Democrats on Tuesday, Pelosi said her conversation with Mnuchin "provided more clarity and common ground as we move closer to an agreement."

The Tuesday deadline had "enabled us to see that decisions could be reached," she said, adding: "both sides are serious about finding a compromise."

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNBC that he hoped to see "some kind of agreement before the weekend."

Pelosi and Mnuchin had made "good progress" during talks, Meadows said, but added there was still "a ways to go" before a deal was agreed. "We're not just down to a difference of language and a few dollars," he said.

Pelosi and Mnuchin will speak again on Wednesday.

Even if the two sides agree a deal, Republicans in the Senate could stop it becoming law.

At a closed-door lunch with Senate Republicans on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned the White House against striking an agreement with Democrats before Election Day, the Washington Post first reported.

Later in a press conference Tuesday, McConnell said that if the House agreed to a comprehensive coronavirus stimulus package, "at some point we'll bring it to the floor," but he didn't specify how long the process would take or whether he would support such a deal.

Pelosi is pushing for a $2.2 trillion stimulus package. The Trump administration's offer has increased to $1.88 trillion, Meadows said, but President Donald Trump said Tuesday he was willing to go higher than even the Democrats were proposing.

Senator Mitt Romney told reporters Tuesday that a stimulus package costing $1.8 trillion or higher would most likely not make it through the Senate. "I don't support something of that level," he said, per Bloomberg.

Senator Richard Shelby also said Tuesday that the White House's proposal was too costly. "I'm not optimistic about us doing anything," he said.

 

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Hans von Spakovsky: Pelosi bill to remove president from office is a needless political stunt

Pelosi teases using 25th Amendment after Trump COVID-19 diagnosis

Reaction and analysis from ‘The Five.’

Although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed earlier this month that President Trump is “in an altered state right now,” she is the one who appears to be in an “altered state” if she thinks she can use congressional authority under the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office.

It seems that having failed to remove Trump through the impeachment process, Democrats led by Pelosi now want to try a different method.

Pelosi claims that new legislation she is backing, which would give a congressional commission authority to determine if a president is incapable in its “opinion” of carrying out his duties, is “not about President Trump.”

NEWT GINGRICH: DEMOCRATS PURSUE TRUMP WITH ZOMBIE IMPEACHMENT THAT NEVER DIES — IT JUST KEEPS COMING BACK

No, this “legislation applies to future presidents,” Pelosi said, although she added that she is taking this action because of the “health of the current president.”

That is a revealing comment since, despite Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, there is no evidence that he has been physically or mentally disabled from carrying out his duties. The issue here is that Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues don’t like the way Trump is carrying out those duties.

This blatantly political move raises the issue of what, exactly, the 25th Amendment is — and what power Congress has under it. Can it be used to remove a president elected by the American people?

The 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967, outlines what happens if the office of the presidency becomes vacant because the president is removed (through impeachment), dies, resigns, or is temporarily or permanently “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

As the Heritage Guide to the Constitution explains, the amendment was adopted because the original presidential succession clause contained in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution was ambiguous. It did not define what the meaning was of the “inability” of a president to discharge his duties or who makes that determination.

Did the vice president who succeeded a president become president for the rest of the presidential term? Or was he merely the “acting president?” This important issue was not addressed in the Constitution before the adoption of the 25th Amendment.

The 25th Amendment also provides that if the office of the vice president becomes vacant, the president nominates a new vice president, who can take office after being confirmed by both the House and Senate.

This procedure was used when Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned in 1973 and was replaced by then-House Minority Leader Gerald Ford. It was used again in 1974 when Ford became president following the resignation of President Richard Nixon and nominated former New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller to become vice president.

Section 3 provides for the vice president to take over as “Acting President” if the president sends a “written declaration” to the Senate and the House that “he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

The vice president remains the acting president until the president sends notice to the Senate and House that he can once again assume his role as president. This provision has been invoked three times – once by President Ronald Reagan and twice by President George W. Bush – when the president handed the reins of power temporarily to the vice president while undergoing a minor medical procedure that required general anesthesia.

Section 4 is the provision of the amendment under which Pelosi is attempting to assert congressional authority. It provides that when the “Vice President and a majority of either the principle officers of the executive departments or such other body as Congress may by law provide” send written notice to the Senate and the House that the president is “unable” to do his job, the vice president shall become the acting president.

The president can reclaim the duties of his office if he sends written notice that he is capable of being president, unless the same group — the vice president and a majority either of his Cabinet or some other body set up by Congress — disagrees within four days.

If that conflict arises, Congress has to assemble within 48 hours and has 21 days to decide who is right. It takes a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress to override the president’s assertion that he can once again resume his duties as president.

The bill Pelosi is supporting was drafted by Rep Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and has 38 co-sponsors, many of whom have expressed virulent opposition to President Trump.

H.R. 8548, if enacted, would establish the “other body as Congress may provide” in the form of a 17-member “Commission on Presidential Capacity” appointed by the leadership of Congress.

The commission would be given the power to authorize medical examinations “to determine whether the President is mentally or physically unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office” when so directed by a resolution passed by Congress, and to file a report giving its opinion on the capability of the president. However, Congress has no constitutional authority to force the president to undergo a medical examination.

Even if this commission were to believe that the president was unable to do his job, it would still need the concurrence of the vice president in order to remove the president, even temporarily.

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There is no reason to believe that such a commission would be in a better position to judge the president’s ability to carry out his duties than the members of the president’s own Cabinet who work with him.

The fact remains that Section 4 of the 25th Amendment would not be invoked unless something happens — like a heart attack or a stroke — that actually incapacitates the president.

Contrary to what some liberals seem to believe, the 25th Amendment — as Professor John Feerick explains in the Heritage Guide — was not intended to be used to “cover political and policy differences or poor judgment, incompetence, laziness,” or other such issues or criticisms that a president’s political opposition may have over his conduct as president.

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The amendment was also not intended as a substitute for an unsuccessful attempt to remove a president through the impeachment process.

There is no need to change the current procedures that already exist under the 25th Amendment. This bill is nothing more than a political stunt and a waste of time.

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Economy

Trump says Pelosi doesn’t care about American workers, ready to sign stimulus

Mnuchin: Will ‘regroup’ with Pelosi on Thursday for stimulus talks

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he suspects Democrats don’t want to give President Trump a stimulus win right before the election.

President Trump took to Twitter early Thursday—shortly after a rally in Iowa—to criticize House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the struggling stimulus bill, and said the California Democrat has shown that she doesn’t care about American workers.

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“She should approve needed STIMULUS now,” Trump tweeted. “Most other Dems agree. Republicans are ready to go, I am ready to sign.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox Business on Wednesday there has been no agreement on any comprehensive coronavirus relief packages and expressed consternation over $300 billion that has remained unspent from the country’s previous stimulus.

He told anchor Lou Dobbs, “We could get that money into the economy quickly.”

PELOSI SPURNS TRUMP'S $1.8T STIMULUS OFFER IN CONTENTIOUS INTERVIEW WITH CNN'S BLITZER

Mnuchin hinted that Democrats might be dragging their feet because they have the November election in mind.

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Pelosi, who had a tense interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday, said, “I want this very much now. Because people need help now. But it's no use giving them a false thing just because the president wants to put a check with his name on it in the mail."

Pelosi told  MSNBC on Thursday that the issue isn’t about the dollar amount, but where the funding will be directed.

CORONAVIRUS RELIEF UNLIKELY BEFORE ELECTION, MNUCHIN SAYS, AMID IMPASSE WITH PELOSI

“If it’s underwriting tax cuts for the wealthiest while depriving it to the working–working– low-income people, you see the unfairness of it all,” she said.

A Pelosi aide told the Associated Press that Mnuchin and the speaker talked by phone Wednesday but reached no agreement. Mnuchin said it would be difficult to complete an agreement before next month’s presidential election.

Fox Business' Brittany De Lea and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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Alyssa Farah slams Pelosi for calling CNN apologist for GOP: 'News to me'

White House slams Pelosi over coronavirus negotiations

White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah weighs in on Amy Coney Barrett, coronavirus relief, and Hunter Biden report.

The White House slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for holding up coronavirus relief for millions of Americans.

On Tuesday night, Pelosi accused CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer of being "an apologist … for the Republican position" during a stunning interview in which she grew visibly frustrated with "The Situation Room" anchor's questions on why she won't accept President Trump's latest offer.

"It's news to me that CNN are apparently apologists for the Republicans, but I mean Speaker Pelosi is in a truly untenable position," White House communications director Alyssa Farah told "Fox & Friends" Wednesday.

PELOSI LASHES OUT AT CNN'S WOLF BLITZER AS GOP 'APOLOGIST' DURING TESTY EXCHANGE ON STALLED COVID STIMULUS

She explained the Trump administration has moved from a $1 trillion offer to $1.6 trillion to $1.8 trillion while Democrats have stated they will not go below $2 trillion.

"Her own caucus is close to revolting because they cannot turn to their constituents and say why they're not giving help to the American people," Farah explained. "President Trump is committed to getting the help that is needed. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is committed to even bringing up a piecemeal approach.

EX-WHITE HOUSE DOCTOR QUESTIONS BIDEN'S 'MENTAL CAPACITY' TO BE PRESIDENT

"It's the Republicans who are serious about getting aid to Americans, not the Democrats," she added.

Responding to a New York Post exclusive report showing Hunter Biden introducing his father, Joe Biden, then vice president, to a Ukrainian executive at Burisma, Farah said the Democratic presidential nominee has to be honest with the American people.

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"Vice President Biden's got some serious questions to answer, and I hope that the media will press him on this," Farah said. "To date, he still has not answered the question about the $3.5 million loan that Hunter Biden was given by the mayor of Moscow.

"This is hugely concerning, but I would say bigger picture, this is what the American people are sick of and it's why they elected Donald Trump. They don't like career politicians who leave office as millionaires and bring up their adult children to foreign influence and to get payments from potential adversaries," she said.

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Pelosi on White House coronavirus talks: 'One step forward, two steps back'

McConnell faces uphill battle to convince GOP senators to approve stimulus deal: Gasparino

Sources tell FOX Business’ Charlie Gasparino many Republican senators worry about the deficit while some past stimulus money hasn’t been spent.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday dismissed the White House's latest $1.8 trillion coronavirus relief offer as "insufficient" and said the Trump administration's proposal on state and local aid, unemployment benefits and measures to fight the virus still falls short. 

"This proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back," Pelosi said in a letter to her Democratic colleagues Saturday.

But in a sign of hope Pelosi said she's still communicating with the White House on finding a breakthrough deal to help American workers and businesses still reeling from the pandemic.

"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," Pelosi wrote.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday made the biggest offer yet to Pelosi, at between $1.8 and $1.9 trillion, according to Tyler Goodspeed, acting chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

It included a reload of the Paycheck Protection Program, an employee retention tax credit, a second round of direct stimulus payments, and support for the airlines and school reopenings, Goodspeed told Fox Business Friday. 

It marks an increase from the $1.6 trillion the administration had previously proposed.

"We think that this was a very solid offer, and it's up to the speaker to be reasonable," Goodspeed said. 

Pelosi outlined in her letter the faults with the White House's latest offer:

  • “absence of any response on a strategic plan to crush the virus”
  • funding for state and local governments “remains sadly inadequate”
  • $200 billion less than what Democrats want for expanded unemployment benefits
  • the inclusion of coronavirus lawsuit liability protections for businesses and not including stronger new worker safety standards 
  • plan doesn’t include additional refundable tax credits: Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Child Dependent Care Tax Credit
  • a $25 billion offer on child case assistance when Democrats want $57 billion 

"At this point, the Trump proposal is insufficient in meeting families’ needs, in stark contrast to the Heroes Act, which secured tens of billions for direct relief and refundable credits," Pelosi wrote in reference to the $2.2 trillion legislation the House passed.

 FED'S POWELL URGES MORE FEDERAL STIMULUS TO HELP ECONOMY RECOVER FROM PANDEMIC

For months, Congress has struggled to reach an agreement on additional stimulus. Negotiations first collapsed in early August, prompting Trump to sign four executive measures intended to provide relief to families still reeling from the virus-induced crisis, including temporarily extending supplemental jobless aid at $300 a week.

But that aid is beginning to expire, and lifelines that propped up the economy in the early weeks of the pandemic — like the $670 billion Paycheck Protection Program, a one-time $1,200 stimulus check and sweetened unemployment benefits — lapsed weeks ago.

PELOSI REJECTS STAND-ALONE AIRLINE VIRUS RELIEF BILL WITHOUT BROADER AID DEAL

Although Democrats and Republicans broadly agree that another bill is necessary to aid the economy's recovery, they sharply disagree over the size and scope of it. House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion aid package last week, and the Trump administration countered with a $1.6 trillion plan. Pelosi rejected that as "inadequate" before the White House came back with the higher offer.

Talks appeared to hit a dead end on Tuesday when Trump tweeted that he had instructed Republicans to halt negotiations until after the election, jolting Wall Street and sending stocks tumbling. But he swiftly reversed course, initially calling for piecemeal legislation, then renewing a push for a broader deal.

"The president wants to do a deal," Kudlow said during an interview with FOX Business' Stuart Varney.

Any bill still needs to get through the Democratic-controlled House and the GOP-controlled Senate, where some Republicans have expressed concern about another massive spending initiative amid the nation's ballooning deficit, which is projected to hit a record-shattering $3.3 trillion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

TRUMP REJECTS DEMS' CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PROPOSAL, CALLS OFF NEGOTIATIONS 'UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION'

Fox Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report. 

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Pelosi to announce bill on 25th Amendment after questioning Trump's health

What’s behind Nancy Pelosi’s 25th Amendment gambit?

White House Deputy Communications Director Brian Morgenstern joins ‘Fox News @ Night’ to discuss.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday will introduce legislation to create a commission that would allow Congress to oust President Trump from office, using the 25th Amendment.

Pelosi said on Thursday that she would be “talking about the 25th Amendment” on Friday — which allows for the vice president to become acting president if it is determined that the president "is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

In the stunning move, Pelosi said that Trump would need to reveal more about the state of his health since he tested positive for COVID-19, particularly concerns that it may be affecting his mental health. 

She cited a “strange tweet” by Trump earlier in the week when he abruptly halted talks on a new stimulus package, arguing that Pelosi was not negotiating in good faith.

PELOSI QUESTIONS TRUMP'S HEALTH, SAYS 'WE'RE GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT THE 25TH AMENDMENT'

“The public needs to know the health condition of the president,” Pelosi said

Trump later responded: “Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation. They don’t call her Crazy for nothing!”

Under the 25th Amendment, Congress, the cabinet and vice president can strip powers from a president if for some reason he or she is declared unfit under dire circumstances. But that requires a 2/3 vote of both houses.

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment also states that Congress “may by law” indicate that it is believed “the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

REPUBLICANS BAFFLED BY PELOSI'S 25TH AMENDMENT SUGGESTION, SAY SHE WANTS TO 'STAGE A COUP'

The “by law” part is what Pelosi and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., are proposing Friday.

 They have a bill, which would have to be passed by both chambers of Congress and signed by the president, which would set up “the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of the Office.” Prospectively, that commission would adjudicate the president’s viability for office.  

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While such a bill may pass the Democrat-controlled House, it would seem extremely unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate unless there was a significant development in Trump’s health. However, it introduces a new political narrative just weeks before Election Day.

Trump was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last Friday, began a course of treatment, and returned to the White House Monday — before returning to the Oval Office on Wednesday.

Fox News' Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Dr. Marc Siegel tells Pelosi to 'stop pontificating' about Trump's condition

Dr. Siegel tells Pelosi to ‘stop pontificating’ on Trump’s condition

Fox News medical contributor shares his thoughts about president’s recovery on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., should "stop pontificating" about President Trump's health, Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Wednesday.

"To Speaker Pelosi, who is not a physician, I wish she would stop pontificating on the president’s health given that not only isn’t she a physician, but she hasn’t seen his chart," Siegel told host Tucker Carlson.

Siegel made the comment after Pelosi questioned whether the president's use of steroids to treat his coronavirus infection had impacted his sudden decision to halt negotiations on another relief bill Tuesday.

"I haven’t seen his chart … so I’m not going to say what the impact of steroids or anything else is other than … he looks healthy, he’s breathing comfortably," Siegel said. "He’s not short of breath, he doesn’t have oxygen and he’s going back to work in the Oval [Office]. That, to physicians, is a very positive sign."

Siegel said Regeneron's experimental treatment, which has been touted by the president, looks "very effective in multiple trials."

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Trump spent the day in the Oval Office Wednesday, two days after he was released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He had spent three nights at that hospital over the weekend after testing positive for the virus.

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