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.