- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 29, 2020

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for sending a letter as a “political stunt” on Thursday, and shot back with his own account of the negotiations.

“I have spoken with you almost every day for the last 45 days in an attempt to reach a serious bipartisan compromise,” Mr. Mnuchin wrote. “Because your letter to me inaccurately describes the status of our current negotiations, I feel obligated to publicly respond.”

Tensions between the administration and Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, have soured once again as negotiations for a comprehensive stimulus deal are stalled with just days left before the election.

Thursday, Mrs. Pelosi released her letter to Mr. Mnuchin that outlined several outstanding issues and said Democrats were awaiting the White House response.

Those included language for a national testing plan; child and earned income tax credits; a balance between OSHA worker safety measures and liability protections; as well as funding levels for state and local governments, unemployment insurance, schools and child care.

Mr. Mnuchin rejected several of Mrs. Pelosi’s claims, starting by arguing the administration did accept Democrats’ proposal for funding and policy on testing, and gave feedback on other specific health provision.

He also said the administration put together proposals for several other areas including aid for small businesses, an employee retention tax credit, rental assistance and agriculture.

In turn, he accused Mrs. Pelosi of rejecting the White House’s compromise proposals on the other outstanding issues or any of the narrowed packages Republicans have called for.

“While you accuse the Administration of holding up the negotiations, you refuse to bring to the floor of the House stand-alone legislation…that we can fund by using already approved money that we have not spent,” Mr. Mnuchin wrote. “Your ALL OR NONE approach is hurting hard-working Americans who need help NOW.”

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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