Mnuchin reveals new coronavirus aid package could be approved on Thursday

Mnuchin reveals new coronavirus aid package could be approved on Thursday Republicans are ready to unveil a new $ 1.5 trillion plan But w...

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  • Mnuchin reveals new coronavirus aid package could be approved on Thursday
  • Republicans are ready to unveil a new $ 1.5 trillion plan
  • But with the good news, there is bad news too

The Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, finally gave the news that everyone expected … and that is that he revealed that a new aid package for coronavirus, which includes stimulus checks and an increase in unemployment aid, it could be remembered as soon as this Thursday.

Mnuchin said the Trump administration will present Democratic leaders with a counter-offer for a coronavirus relief package, which is higher than its previous offer of $ 1.3 trillion.

The new proposal, according to the Secretary of the Treasury, would be 1.5 trillion dollars and could include an extra so that in case the pandemic lasted longer, aid would rise to 2 trillion dollars, according to Fortune.

The good news is that the new coronavirus aid package could be approved on Thursday; The bad news is that if negotiations between Republicans and Democrats fail, they are unlikely to restart.

According to The Associated Press, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had an “extended conversation” on Wednesday about a huge coronavirus aid package and met face to face. face for the first time in more than a month, in a last-ditch effort to seal a tentative deal on an additional round of pandemic relief.

After a 90-minute meeting at the Capitol, Pelosi released a statement saying the two would continue to speak. “We found areas where we looked for further clarification,” he said.

“We have come a long way in the last few days. We still don’t have an agreement, ”Mnuchin said after meeting with Pelosi and briefing on Senate Senior Republican Mitch McConnell.

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At the very least, the positive tone from Pelosi and Mnuchin represented an improvement over previous statements. But there is still a considerable gulf between the two sides, McConnell said.

“I’ve seen a substantial move, yes, and the rhetoric has certainly changed,” said White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

After initially saying that the Democrat-controlled chamber would vote Wednesday night on a 2.2 trillion relief bill, a debate that would have been partisan and possibly unproductive, Pelosi turned around and postponed the vote until Thursday with hoping to give conversations with Mnuchin more room to breathe.

What is at stake is a delayed package that would expand another round of $ 1,200 direct stimulus payments, restore additional pandemic unemployment benefits, accelerate aid to schools, and extend assistance to struggling airlines, restaurants and other businesses.

A landmark $ 2 trillion relief bill in March passed with broad support and is credited with helping the economy through the spring and summer, but concerns are raised that the recovery may fail without additional relief. .

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Mnuchin said Wednesday morning that he would present a new offer similar to a plan launched a couple of weeks ago by the bipartisan Caucus of problem solvers.

Pelosi and other high-ranking Democrats previously rejected that proposal as inappropriate. It amounts to around $ 1.5 trillion and would provide additional unemployment benefits, if unemployment remains unacceptably high.

Pelosi and Mnuchin have intensified the talks in recent days, but they remain widely separated. The two have worked together effectively in the past and were key forces in the “CARES Act” in March, but the bipartisan spirit that brought that measure into law has all but evaporated. Neither party has publicly offered the kind of concessions that would generate tangible momentum.

McConnell said the two sides remain “very, very far away,” although he spoke before being briefed on the Mnuchin-Pelosi meeting. Attendees said the two sides are not close.

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Even if Pelosi and Mnuchin could reach a tentative agreement on “top-of-the-line” spending levels, dozens of pesky details would need to be worked out. One particularly difficult topic, Pelosi told colleagues earlier in the day, remains McConnell’s insistence on a liability shield for companies that fear COVID-related lawsuits after they reopen their doors.

“Let’s see if we can reach a compromise agreement with the president, something that works, and then we will continue to work with both parties on all the exact language and policies,” Mnuchin said previously.

Pelosi’s has sold its latest bill as an attempt to establish a bargaining position that could advance negotiations. A more skeptical view is that the president is trying to placate the party moderates who protested because she has been too inflexible in the negotiations and played a role in the collapse of the aid talks this summer and earlier this month.

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It would resurrect a pandemic unemployment benefit of $ 600 a week and send a second round of direct payments to most people. It would cut an aid package for state and local governments to the still massive $ 436 billion, send a whopping $ 225 billion to colleges and universities, and deliver another round of grants to businesses under the Check Protection Program. Payment. Airlines would receive another $ 25 billion in aid to avoid a wave of layoffs looming this week.

The proposal represents a cut from a $ 3.4 billion bill that passed the House in May, but remains well above what Senate Republicans are willing to accept. Republicans have supported staying in the 650 billion to $ 1 trillion range.

The specific figures are also confusing because both parties are using compensation expense cuts or new tax revenue to pay part of their respective bills. The Congressional Budget Office has not rated either the Senate’s most recent Republican measure or the Democratic plan scheduled for the Wednesday night vote.

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