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Pelosi: Coronavirus stimulus deal an improvement, but under review

Speaker says bill ‘has moved a great deal closer to America’s workers’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that a massive stimulus agreement reached by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and key members of the Trump administration shows improvement over a GOP proposal released late last week. But she didn’t give a clear sign of approval or commit to a House vote.

“House Democrats will now review the final provisions and legislative text of the agreement to determine a course of action,” she said in a statement. 

Pelosi said the agreement could take negotiators “a long way down the road in meeting the needs of the American people.”

“Thanks to the unity and insistence of Senate and House Democrats, the bill has moved a great deal closer to America’s workers,” the California Democrat said in a statement.

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Walking into her Capitol Hill office later in the morning, Pelosi told reporters she’s optimistic about the stimulus bill, but won’t make a decision about voting until after lawmakers fully review bill text.

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“We’re reviewing it now. We have our staff and our chairmen reviewing the bill. I’m optimistic, but we’ll see,” she said.

It’s unlikely the House will vote to approve the legislation Wednesday, though.

The House came in for a pro forma session at 10 a.m. and quickly adjourned until 11 a.m. Thursday. Had the House wanted to leave open the option of passing the stimulus package today, it likely wouldn’t have recessed subject to the call of the chair.

House Democrats are scheduled to have a series of conference calls to go over the legislation.

As of mid-morning, negotiators had not released final bill text after reaching a bipartisan agreement in the early morning hours that is designed to help reduce the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shortly after the agreement was announced, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he hopes Pelosi will bring the compromise agreement to the House floor and not make any changes that would require it to go back to the Senate before it could be enacted by President Donald Trump.

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“I can’t speak for the Speaker, I hope she takes it up and she passes it as is,” said Mnuchin, who has been a key negotiator for the Trump administration throughout the last several days as the legislative and executive branches worked to find agreement.

The Senate is expected to vote on the measure later Wednesday after it comes into session at noon.

Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.

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