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Mnuchin, Pelosi hold call over stimulus plan

A new phone call between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday may not have sparked another round of stimulus talks. Yahoo Finance's D.C. correspondent Jessica Smith joins The First Trade with Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi to break down the details.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: A new phone call between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday doesn't appear to have jump-started another round of stimulus talks. The two spoke for more than 30 minutes, and Pelosi afterwards said serious differences remain. Our DC correspondent, Jessica Smith, is here now to break it down for us. So, Jess, not a lot of hope here I guess?

JESSICA SMITH: No, talks have been stalled for weeks, and it does not look like there has been any real progress after this phone call. The phone call came after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testified on Capitol Hill about the administration's response to the coronavirus crisis. Speaker Pelosi says the call lasted 36 minutes. But she said the White House has refused to support funding levels that are needed to address this crisis.

She said that Democrats are willing to go to $2.2 trillion. That's a little more than a trillion less than what they had originally wanted, but that's a little more than a trillion more than what Republicans had originally wanted. She went on to say, "Sadly, this phone call made clear that Democrats and the White House continue to have serious differences understanding the gravity of the situation that America's working families are facing."

Now in his testimony yesterday, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin seemed to say that he was ready to make a deal. He said more stimulus is needed. He suggested going through piece by piece and passing what they can agree on, for example, small business relief.

But Speaker Pelosi has rejected that plan. She does not want to go piece by piece and do this with smaller issues by issues instead of one big bill. We do expect Senate Republicans to unveil and vote on a smaller stimulus plan at some point in the coming days, probably sometime next week. Alexis?

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: What can you tell us about this new eviction moratorium? How would that work?

JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, this comes after President Trump's executive actions earlier this year telling agencies to explore ways to help renters. The administration is doing this now through the CDC. The agency says that an eviction ban is needed to stop the spread of the virus, so the moratorium will halt evictions through the end of the year for people making less than $99,000 a year, $198,000 for joint filers. People have to attest that they have lost income and that they could end up homeless if they are evicted from their homes.

Reaction to this is mixed. There's relief that the ban is in place through the end of the year. But there's also concern that there's no money behind it, and renters are eventually going to have to pay once this ban expires. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said yesterday that he'd like to see legislation with renter's assistance in it, so we'll see if that goes anywhere. We already know that the House-passed Heroes Act had $100 billion in renter's assistance.