Mnuchin: Stimulus Package Unlikely Before Election

Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

Mnuchin: Stimulus Package Unlikely Before Election

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday it is unlikely Congress and the White House will agree on a new stimulus package before the Nov. 3 election.

"At this point, getting something done before the election and executing on that will be difficult," Mnuchin said, speaking via video at a morning session at the Milken Global Conference.


Stocks slumped on Mnuchin's comments. He said he met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this morning, but that Democrats and Republicans still have significant disagreements on more than just the topline number.

"We continue to make progress on certain issues and on certain issues we remain far apart," Mnuchin said. "We've compromised significantly. There are money issues. There are also policy issues."

House Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion relief bill but Pelosi has dismissed the White House's latest $1.8 trillion proposal as inadequate.

Pelosi and Mnuchin, the lead negotiators in stimulus negotiations between the White House and congressional Democrats, plan to speak again Thursday.

Mnuchin sounded relatively optimistic about the U.S. economy, saying that doomsday predictions about double digit unemployment never came to fruition and he expects a quick V-shape recovery.

"A large part of the economy has come back strong," Mnuchin said. "Unlike previous financial crises, the end will be near shortly."

The Milken Global Conference, which started Monday, normally takes place at the Beverly Hilton in May, drawing thousands attendees from the world of finance. But after initially being postponed to July, it is now entirely virtual.

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