House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, said on Tuesday that she was optimistic that a deal could be reached with the Trump administration to pass a new economic relief bill before Election Day, setting aside a deadline she had imposed for reaching a compromise by the end of the day.
Ms. Pelosi and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, were scheduled to discuss the matter at 3 p.m. Tuesday. “Hopefully, by the end of the day today, we’ll know where we all are,” the speaker said in an interview on Bloomberg TV.
On Sunday, Ms. Pelosi said that to pass a bill before the election, a deal would have to be reached within 48 hours. But in the interview on Tuesday, she softened that time limit, saying instead that legislation would have to be finished by the end of next week for aid to begin flowing by Nov. 3.
“It isn’t that this day was the day that we have a deal,” Ms. Pelosi said. “It was a day that we would have our terms on the table to be able to go to the next step.”
While the two sides have made progress on the package’s health and testing provisions — two key Democratic demands — Ms. Pelosi said she and the administration remained divided over the amount of aid for state and local governments, and over provisions shielding companies from liability that Republicans have long insisted on and a number of Democrats have resisted.
In the interview Tuesday, Ms. Pelosi signaled that she was preparing a counteroffer on those two provisions.
“Legislation’s tough because you’re coming from two different perspectives on it,” she said.
Investors, who have been watching the developments in Washington closely, bid up stock prices after Ms. Pelosi’s interview.
Still, the odds of a last-minute deal remain long, and Republicans remained opposed to a broad package of the kind under discussion. President Trump has insisted in recent days that he wants to spend more than the $2.4 trillion Ms. Pelosi has put forward in negotiations, and he claimed he could easily cajole enough Senate Republicans into supporting an agreement of that size — something that many of the senators have told Mr. Trump’s top deputies would never happen.
Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, told reporters on Monday that “it’d be hard” to find sufficient 13 Republican votes to advance even a $1.8 trillion package, the most recent figure put forward by Mr. Mnuchin.
Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, instead planned a test vote later Tuesday on a narrow measure that would revive the Paycheck Protection Program, a popular small-business loan program. While Democrats support the program, they are expected to oppose the narrow bill, contending that a far broader package is needed.