The Washington Post reports that McConnell told his Republican conference at Tuesday's weekly lunch that he had "warned the White House not to make major stimulus agreements before the elections" and that Pelosi had failed to negotiate in good faith with the Treasury Department. Steven Mnuchin, but instead tried to find a way to derail Amy Coney Barrett's quick confirmation in the Supreme Court. Which is ridiculous. There are many easier ways she could do that. Like making and passing more resolutions on disagreements with White House rules under the Congressional Review Act and sending them to the Senate, where they would be privileged. Or indict any number of Trump cabinet members or agents (such as Postmaster General Louis DeJoy) who have given sufficient reasons. These would also be privileged.
Instead, Pelosi wrestled with her own member, telephoned Mnuchin for hours and spoke to the press daily about the state of the negotiations. McConnell has sat on the sidelines throwing spitballs when he doesn't laugh at his success in stone walling critical aid to a nation in a pandemic. He's still scrutinizing it, telling reporters after lunch that if Pelosi and the White House reached an agreement they would "eventually" take it to the Senate and refuse to act on it before that Choice. Because he doesn't care about anything but Barrett on the pitch and the slim possibility that what turns out to be a solid Trump defeat could be called into question there.
Pelosi and Mnuchin are still talking – they had an hour-long conversation on Tuesday and agreed to speak again on Wednesday after Pelosi pulled back somewhat from the Tuesday deadline she set for a deal. Prior to her last call, Pelosi told reporters that a specific language needs to be established for a primary vote by the end of this week and that she is "optimistic", although important differences remain. Those differences include corporate liability protection that McConnell insisted on and which House Democrats flatly oppose, as well as support from state and local governments.
That means the White House and Pelosi are agreeing to provide real support to the real people in the form of stimulus checks and expanded unemployment insurance. The things McConnell has rejected for months. They have made enough progress that Pelosi has delegated some of the details of the spending to their appropriation management and asked them to work the language with their senior members, even though these Republicans are less negotiating than Mnuchin and presumably Trump, who continues to scream in the background for a big, big incentive to claim before November 3rd. Pelosi's spokesman reported that after speaking Tuesday, Pelosi and Mnuchin "found more clarity and common ground as they approached an agreement" and that they both "see that decisions can be made and languages exchanged, showing that both sides can serious about finding a compromise. "They'll talk again on Wednesday.
With Trump allegedly "very optimistic" about getting a deal, there is every reason for the two to keep putting pressure and pressure on Senate Republicans, according to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows – the least likely man to support the negotiations maintain. McConnell has now taken total responsibility for any failure it may fail by turning down a deal before it is even closed. So Pelosi has nothing to lose.