Happy Wednesday and welcome back to On The Money. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.
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THE BIG DEAL—Mnuchin says COVID-19 relief before election ‘would be difficult’: Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Pelosi, citing ‘leverage’ over Trump, holds strong to .2T in COVID-19 aid | McConnell to force vote on ‘targeted’ relief bill next week | Trump again asks court to shield tax records Pelosi spars with CNN’s Blitzer over COVID-19 aid: ‘You really don’t know what you’re talking about’ OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump creates federal council on global tree planting initiative | Green group pushes for answers on delayed climate report | Carbon dioxide emissions may not surpass 2019 levels until 2027: analysis MORE on Wednesday cast doubt on the prospects of getting a fifth COVID-19 relief package deal approved before Election Day.
“I’d say at this point getting something done before the election and executing on that would be difficult,” he said at the Milken Institute Global Conference.
- Mnuchin has been negotiating a deal with Speaker of the House Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Pelosi, citing ‘leverage’ over Trump, holds strong to .2T in COVID-19 aid | McConnell to force vote on ‘targeted’ relief bill next week | Trump again asks court to shield tax records Pelosi spars with CNN’s Blitzer over COVID-19 aid: ‘You really don’t know what you’re talking about’ Pelosi, citing ‘leverage’ over Trump, holds strong to .2T in COVID-19 aid MORE (D-Calif.) for months, and most recently upped the White House offer to $1.8 trillion, closer to the latest Democratic ask of $2.2 trillion.
- Mnuchin said the two spoke for an hour earlier Wednesday morning, and that he spent an additional two hours speaking with White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTrump tells Congress to ‘go big or go home’ on coronavirus stimulus White House chief of staff refuses to ‘talk through a mask’ to reporters Trump campaign manager returns to office 10 days after positive COVID-19 test MORE and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Pelosi, citing ‘leverage’ over Trump, holds strong to .2T in COVID-19 aid | McConnell to force vote on ‘targeted’ relief bill next week | Trump again asks court to shield tax records Overnight Health Care: Barrett says she’s ‘not hostile’ toward Affordable Care Act | Nominee says she doesn’t classify Roe v Wade as ‘superprecedent’ | Eli Lilly pauses study of COVID-19 treatment over safety concerns Barrett declines to say if Trump can pardon himself MORE (R-Ky.).
- A Pelosi spokesman said the talks were “productive,” but that key disagreements remained over language on a national COVID-19 testing plan.
The Hill’s Niv Elis has more here.
The road from here: Mnuchin suggested that the policy questions in the bill remained a significant hurdle, and reiterated calls for smaller, stand-alone bills dealing with individual issues.
“I don’t agree with the Speaker’s approach that we have to do all or nothing,” Mnuchin said He added that securing and executing a deal before the elections “would be difficult just given where we are and the level of detail.”
But Pelosi and House Democratic leaders have insisted on a large comprehensive package despite Mnuchin’s suggestions for smaller bills and resistance among Senate Republicans to a measure as big as the White House has offered. Mike Lillis has more on that here.
LEADING THE DAY
Gender employment gap widens with start of virtual school year: Women dropped out of the labor force in staggeringly high numbers last month, underscoring how female workers have disproportionately borne the economic brunt of the pandemic, in large part because of changes to child care and schooling.
- The September jobs report released earlier this month found that 865,000 women dropped out of the labor force, compared to just 216,000 men.
- The disparity threatens to set back decades of progress in closing workplace gender gaps and hinder the overall recovery from the coronavirus recession.
- One of the main reasons, experts say, is due to child care.
“Because so many families with children are struggling to address care issues, it’s created a great burden on parents, and that burden is disproportionately high on women,” said Heather Boushey, president and CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.
“We know from all the data that women have a disproportionate responsibility for care at home, and what that means is that as COVID has happened, it can make it incredibly difficult to do their jobs from home,” she added.
Niv breaks down the issue here.
Warren rips Disney over layoffs amid reported restoration of executive pay: Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren: ‘Chicken’ Trump knows he ‘got spanked in that first debate’ Arizona, Virginia observe Indigenous Peoples Day for first time Democrats need to change messaging on abortion MORE (D-Mass.) called for answers on Wednesday on Disney laying off 28,000 workers while reportedly restoring the salaries of its senior executives during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Disney said last month that it plans to lay off the employees due to the lack of attendance at its parks around the world.
- Warren, however, noted in a letter to Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger and CEO Bob Chapek that the company said it would restore the paychecks of executives to pre-COVID-19 levels in August.
“I would like to know whether Disney’s financial practices have impacted the company’s decision to lay off workers and whether your company plans to extend health care or other critical benefits and protections to laid off employees,” the senator wrote.
She added that the company has invested in compensation packages, dividend payments and stock buybacks in recent years for executives and stockholders, “all of which weakened Disney’s financial cushion and ability to retain and pay its front-line workers amid the pandemic.”
The Hill’s Alex Gangitano has more here.
GOOD TO KNOW
- President TrumpDonald John TrumpLabor secretary’s wife tests positive for COVID-19 Russia shuts down Trump admin’s last-minute push to strike nuclear arms deal before election Trump makes appeal to suburban women at rally: ‘Will you please like me?’ MORE in a new interview said he will “stand with” third quarter economic data set to be released ahead of Election Day, tying himself closely to the announcement as he seeks a bounce before Nov. 3.
- The Brazilian parent company of meatpacking conglomerate JBS SA has agreed to pay more than $280 million in fines to the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle charges it violated federal anti-corruption laws.
- The U.S. unemployment rate will not reach pre-pandemic levels until 2024, according to economists at S&P Global Ratings.
- And Federal Reserve Board Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said Wednesday that it could take the U.S. economy years to fully recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
ODDS AND ENDS
- Walmart will spread Black Friday deals in its stores across three weekends in November in an effort to reduce crowds during the coronavirus pandemic while offering other sales online.
- Op-Ed: Emily Martin, a vice president at the National Women’s Law Center, discusses “COVID-19 and the disappearance of millions of working women”