CNN)The negotiators are, at long last, actually negotiating.
After seven meetings, totaling more than a dozen hours, the top Democratic and White House negotiators are not just walking through their disagreements, but putting offers on the table, trading proposals and to a small degree, starting to make concessions. They’ve even agreed on a deadline for a deal — the end of this week.
Bottom line: There is still a long way to go and an agreement to a timeline to reach an agreement — one that is already one week after the initial deadline — isn’t much on its face. But what’s happening behind the scenes is a signal things are actually starting to kick into gear.
What to watch: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will be back on Capitol Hill for negotiations.
What was put on the table
The Tuesday meeting between Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and the top White House negotiators, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, was by far the most productive of all the meetings up to this point, according to both sides.
Schumer said both sides made concessions and, most importantly, the talks had gone beyond identifying areas of disagreement or even topline points of overlap and have now moved to trading actual paper proposals between sides. It seems minor or just an obvious step in the process, but the trading of paper means things are getting real, finally.
That came in large part due to what the White House negotiators put on the table. To be clear, these proposals weren’t agreed to and won’t be accepted by Democrats (much to the frustration of the administration negotiators). But they represent tangible movement — the type of movement that can draw out real concessions and counters.
The White House offers
These were the baseline White House offers made, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter:
Federal unemployment enhancement: Extend the federal unemployment enhancement at a flat rate of $400-per-week, down from the now lapsed level of $600 per week.
Eviction moratorium: Extend the federal eviction moratorium until mid-December.
State and local aid: An additional $200 billion in state and local funds, up from the offer of zero in the initial Senate Republican proposal. (Republicans point to tens of billions in aid that remains unspent from the initial proposal and initially proposed adding flexibility to how that money could be spent instead of new funds.)
The White House offers were first reported by Politico’s Playbook.