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Pelosi on stimulus deal: We're just about there

Although House Speaker Pelosi has signaled progress in a new aid deal, many investors and politicians are less optimistic about reaching a stimulus deal prior to the election. Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith joins The Final Round panel to break down the latest stimulus updates.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Well, let's get to the latest down in DC, since that, of course, continues to be one of the big drivers in the market. It sounds like things I guess we can say might be progressing in the right direction, at least for now. Jess Smith, what can you tell us at this point?

JESSICA SMITH: I think maybe things are moving in the right direction when it comes to the negotiations between Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. But things on the Senate side are still pretty shaky. Speaker Pelosi says that they are just about there, that she hopes they'll soon be able to take this to pen and paper.

But she says the two biggest issues in these negotiations are still unresolved. That is state and local aid and liability protection. So they still have some work to do. Plus, if they do get a bill written, it still has to go through a process to actually make it to the House floor and through a vote. So that could still take some time.

Over on the Senate side, it is not clear if majority Leader Mitch McConnell would put this on the floor before a vote. And the senators that I've talked to in recent days really don't seem very optimistic that this would actually pass the chamber and make it to the president's desk. So I think the odds of this happening before an election are getting slimmer and slimmer by the day.

SEANA SMITH: And Jess, you know, I know that there's a lot of frustration down there on Capitol Hill because a lot of these lawmakers are hearing from their constituents, hearing that they need help, and they need it in a relatively timely manner.

So as we hear the Pelosi and Mnuchin talks continue to, I guess, maybe progress in the right direction on one day and then stall the next day, some lawmakers are working on some of their own ideas for relief. There was actually a new plan put forward yesterday, I believe, for the US tourism industry. What do we know about that, and how exactly would that work?

JESSICA SMITH: Well, this new bill uses tax credits to try and help the travel and hospitality industry. This is a bipartisan bill written by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota. The bill would create a tax credit for hosting or attending trade shows and conventions.

It would establish another tax credit for restaurants to help them revamp and reopen, to be able to operate safely during the pandemic. It would increase the employee retention tax credit and restore the entertainment business expense deduction.

And finally, one of the most interesting provisions here is it would give Americans, many of them anyway, a tax credit for domestic travel. It's up to $3,000 per household. And it is for travel within the United States. Of course, just like the stimulus checks had an elibiligy this scale-- oh, there we go. Goodness. Eligibility scale-- got it. This does as well. So if you're making more than $75,000, it starts to phase out.

I talked to Senator Cortez Masto about this legislation. She says it is really important for her state that depends on tourism and depends on gaming. She says that the economy in her state has really just been battered because of the virus. Let's watch.

CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO: My concern in Nevada has always been, how do we shore up and protect our workers and the businesses? You need both. You need the workers and the businesses to survive and thrive across this country. This bill focuses on the businesses who employ so many workers, hundreds of thousands just in the state of Nevada alone, but across the country.

JESSICA SMITH: I did ask the senator how she would go about trying to get this passed. She says it needs to be a part of that comprehensive bill that negotiators are working on because you have to have a plan to beat this virus in order to make it safe for people to travel.