Catch up on the latest in the saga of stimulus talks.


The gap between the Democrats’ proposed $2.2 trillion relief package and the White House’s $1.8 trillion offer may look relatively small, in the grand scheme of things. But an agreement on the aid that many say is needed to keep the economic recovery on track seems remote despite frenzied talks in recent days.

Here’s a quick catch-up on the back and forth, courtesy of today’s DealBook newsletter:

Oct. 6: “I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election,” Mr. Trump tweeted. A few hours later, he said he was willing to sign stand-alone bills that would finance stimulus checks, small-business loans and airline aid. Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, warned of “tragic” consequences if no stimulus was forthcoming. The S&P 500 fell 1.4 percent.

Oct. 7: “Move Fast, I Am Waiting To Sign!” Mr. Trump tweeted at Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker. The S&P rose 1.7 percent.

Oct. 8: Analysts start pricing in better odds of a deal getting done. The S&P rose 0.8 percent.

Oct. 9: “Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!” Mr. Trump tweeted. He said he was inclined to be more generous than either Democrats or Republicans, but Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said a deal was “unlikely in the next three weeks.” No matter: The S&P rose 0.9 percent, ending a tumultuous week with a gain of about 4 percent.

Oct. 10: Ms. Pelosi wrote a letter calling Republican proposals “insufficient,” although she remained “hopeful” that a deal could be struck. For their part, some Senate Republicans complained that a big spending package could cost them seats among fiscally conservative voters.

Oct. 11: The White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote to lawmakers urging them to “come together and immediately vote on a bill,” tapping unused funds from the first round of stimulus. Ms. Pelosi wrote another letter saying that talks were at an “impasse,” with disagreements over the nature of the aid rather than the size of the bill. On Fox News, Mr. Trump said “Republicans want to do it” and blamed Ms. Pelosi for the stalemate.

Oct. 12: At the time of writing, stock futures are up in premarket trading. Hope springs eternal.





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