Pelosi’s decision to introduce a smaller coronavirus relief package follows weeks of resistance, despite centrist Democrats and some senior lawmakers publicly suggesting the idea. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Updated: 09/29/2020 07:52 PM EDT

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding out one more day for an eleventh-hour agreement with Republicans on a coronavirus relief package, hoping to clinch a longshot deal as talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin drag on this week.

After a 50-minute conversation on Tuesday, Pelosi and Mnuchin will speak again Wednesday in what is likely the final chance to deliver trillions of dollars in relief to struggling Americans ahead of the November election.

“I’m hopeful,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol after her conversation with Mnuchin.

Senior Democrats described Pelosi’s conversation with Mnuchin as positive, noting that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows — who has thrown up roadblocks to Democratic proposals in recent months — was not on the call. Democrats are hoping to receive a GOP offer by noon on Wednesday.

The California Democrat huddled with her leadership team Tuesday evening, where Pelosi laid out plans to push ahead with the caucus’ own $2.2 trillion bill if the bipartisan talks fail on Wednesday. The Rules Committee is expected to meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday, to give Democrats the ability to move quickly if they want.

“If we got some agreement tomorrow or tonight, we’ll see,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said, adding that Democrats would wait on the outcome of the GOP offer. “But we’re certainly planning on going ahead with our proposal.”

“We want to move the bill,” Hoyer said.

The full Democratic Caucus will be briefed on the negotiations Wednesday morning, with centrist Democrats desperate for action that they can tout on the campaign trail in the final weeks before the election.

Despite not being on the call with Pelosi, Meadows also expressed hope about the chances for a deal.

“The secretary and I have had a couple of conversations this morning. We also had a conversation with the president, so hopefully we’ll make some progress and find a solution for the American people,” he told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday.

The Republican counteroffer is expected to be roughly $1.5 trillion, which is more than Republicans had previously been willing to spend, but still nearly $1 trillion apart from Democrats. If the talks do fall apart again, House Democrats plan to put their $2.2 trillion bill up for a vote this week before members depart for the October recess.

Pelosi confirmed plans to bring the bill to the floor absent a bipartisan breakthrough in a letter to House Democrats on Tuesday night.

“The legislation that we plan to send to the floor will formalize our proffer to Republicans to come to negotiations,” Pelosi wrote in the “Dear Colleague” letter. “With your support, we hope to have a strong vote on the floor to support lives, livelihoods and the life of our democracy.”

Much of Capitol Hill remains skeptical that an agreement — which has failed to emerge over months of talks between the two sides — can materialize in the final days before the House leaves for recess for nearly a month.

“We can meet tomorrow and bring it up tomorrow if we wanted to,” House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said, explaining Democrats’ ability to quickly bring a bill to the floor if there is no deal.

Asked whether they would be a vote this week, McGovern said plans hadn’t been finalized. “Is there anything definite around here?”

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