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In March, Congress pushed through a relief package that preserved the U.S. economy during the pandemic. It felt like government functioning at its best.

But now, that money is running out and bipartisanship has given way to an ideological stalemate.

While Republicans balk at plans for further significant government spending — even those coming from the White House — Democrats are holding out for more money and a broader package of measures.

The absence of a deal could have dire consequences. One economist estimates that without a stimulus package, there could be four million fewer jobs next year.

We talk to Jim Tankersley, who covers the economy for The Times, about what’s getting in the way of an agreement.


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On today’s episode

  • Jim Tankersley, who covers economic and tax policy for The New York Times.

ImageTreasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, center, arriving for a meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the Capitol last month.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

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Jim Tankersley contributed reporting.

“The Daily” is made by Theo Balcomb, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Kelly Prime, Julia Longoria, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Hans Buetow, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Giaever, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi and Rachelle Bonja. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Mikayla Bouchard, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani, Nora Keller, Sofia Milan and Desiree Ibekwe.