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Pelosi, Mnuchin to resume COVID-19 relief talks as Democrats mull new bill

WASHINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was due to resume talks on COVID-19 relief with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday, as Democratic lawmakers prepared to move forward with a $2.2 trillion bill if no deal is reached.

The House Rules Committee is meeting to debate an updated Heroes Act coronavirus relief package, which House Democrats unveiled on Monday. The panel would set the parameters for a House floor debate and vote on passage, but much depended on the outcome of Pelosi’s conversation with Mnuchin.

“I’m hopeful. We’ll just see what they come back with today and how our negotiations go next,” Pelosi, who had spoken to Mnuchin for about 50 minutes on Tuesday, told MSNBC in an interview.

“It’s a negotiation. We won’t get everything we want,” she said. Pelosi spoke just before the House Committee met. She did not say when exactly she would speak to Mnuchin and her office did not respond to queries.

Formal talks between Pelosi, Mnuchin, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows broke down on Aug. 7 with the two sides far apart.

Pelosi has since taken the lead for Democrats in trying to reach a compromise with the Trump administration.

Pelosi and Schumer initially pressed for a $3.4 trillion relief package but scaled back their demands by over a $1 trillion. The White House began with a $1 trillion proposal and later said that Trump could agree to a $1.3 trillion package.

On Monday, Pelosi urged the Trump administration to raise its number.

A report from Height Securites said on Wednesday that Mnuchin could give Pelosi an offer of $1.5 trillion to $1.6 trillion on Wednesday. (Reporting by David Morgan Editing by Tomasz Janowski)