White House, Democrats move closer to small business aid deal
Republicans also voiced strong opposition to adding money for states and municipalities, saying Democrats pushed for unrestricted, unrelated funds that would effectively subsidize bad tax decisions made before the pandemic. It has been a red line for Republicans throughout the talks.
But after the paycheck protection program funding expired, Republicans voiced the first signs of openness to accept at least some of the Democrats’ demands. In an interview with Politico on Friday, Mr McCarthy said he was “okay with funding hospitals” as part of a program to shore up the program.
Some Republicans, however, have expressed skepticism of Mr. Mnuchin, whom they see as accommodating to Democrats. Asked Thursday how a deal including hospital money would be received, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and Majority Leader, remained elusive, saying only: “We would take a look.” .
Mr Mnuchin also said on Sunday that he hoped the economy could rebound in months rather than years. He said he hoped the government’s extraordinary efforts to encourage companies to keep workers on their payrolls would keep the unemployment rate from reaching 20 percent.
Mr McConnell organized an appeal on Sunday with Mr Mnuchin, Mr Trump, Republican senators and Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, about the ongoing negotiations. Mr McConnell said additional funds for state and local governments, as well as more money for food aid, would not be included in the final package, according to an aide to a Republican leader who requested the anonymity to disclose the details of a private phone call. .
Mr Mnuchin added that some of the unresolved issues relate to funding for testing and that he will be meeting with Mr McConnell, Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, and Senator Roy Blunt of the Missouri, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, to resolve issues to ensure expeditious passage.