On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went on record to say that there would be no standalone bill for airlines if there was not going to be larger coronavirus stimulus. Yahoo Finance’s Jess Smith joins The Final Round panel to discuss the latest happenings down in Washington D.C.
JEN ROGERS: Let's move on and talk about what's happening in Washington, DC with stimulus. This is the real story that the market is focused on. Right now, I want to bring in Jess Smith. So Jess, you know, it's like, is everyone just waiting for a tweet here? What is going to make this happen? How far apart are these two sides?
JESSICA SMITH: Well, Jen, I really don't see much of a difference from where we are right now from where we were in July. The two sides really still remain pretty far apart.
Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin were talking about the standalone bill for airlines over the past couple of days, but she clarified her position this morning. When speaking to reporters, she said there will be no standalone bill for airlines without a broader stimulus package. Let's watch.
NANCY PELOSI: But there is no standalone bill.
- It would not move forward at all on a standalone airline bill.
NANCY PELOSI: If we don't have a guarantee that we're going to be helping our state and local employees, that we're not going to be able to crush the virus, that we're not going to be able to have our children go to school safely, that we're not going to have safety in the workplace, that we're not going to address unemployment.
JESSICA SMITH: Now in an interview with Bloomberg, Pelosi added to that, saying that the two bills, this broader stimulus bill and then an airline bill, does not necessarily have to happen at the same moment, she said. But it has to be happening with the assurance that we will go beyond this assistance to the airlines.
She says that Democrats are still at the negotiating table. She says they want to continue talks. She told reporters that they were making progress before the president pulled the plug on negotiations earlier this week, though he did backtrack on that.
Still, they remain pretty far apart. They have not agreed on a top line number. They haven't agreed on many of the details in this stimulus package. There's still a lot of work to do.
And even if Pelosi and Mnuchin were to agree on this, they still have to get Senate Republicans on board, which could be challenging. And you have the Supreme Court confirmation hearings that start next week. So, a lot going on less than a month before the election. Still a lot of work to do, if there is any way to get this done.
JEN ROGERS: Yeah, Jess, that's what I wanted to follow up on. Let's say even if the two sides could come together in terms of the Senate Republicans, I mean, haven't we already heard from Mike Lee and Pat Toomey, like, they're not on board with this, right?
JESSICA SMITH: I mean, there are several Senate Republicans that are not on board with spending additional money. They want to use some unspent money from previous relief measures. They don't want to spend $2 trillion more on this.
We have heard over and over again that anything that starts with a 2 is going to be difficult. I mean, even a $1 and 1/2 trillion package could be difficult. And we did hear from some senators today saying they didn't want to give the airlines more money. They wanted the airlines to take out more loans.
So there is still going to be a challenge of getting Republicans onboard with this. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn't really involved in these negotiations. But he still has to decide to put this bill on the floor. So you have to get him onboard with this at some point. It's not clear if and when that will happen.
JEN ROGERS: All right, Jess Smith for us on the very latest on the stimulus moves. Thanks so much.