After more than a week of nearly daily face-to-face meetings, Trump administration officials and congressional Democratic leaders have agreed to try to reach a coronovirus-assisted bill deal by the end of the week.
Treasury Secretary Steven Menuchin told reporters on Capitol Hill the new timeline late Tuesday.
A Democratic ally confirmed that the leaders of the party had agreed on the timeline.
Mnuchin, along with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, has been meeting regularly since July 27 with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, but the quartet has only publicly reported sporadically – and usually unspecified – Progress. Tuesday’s announcement marks the most significant advance yet in negotiations for a new stimulus bill, even if it, too, lacks expansion.
“We are going to work around the clock in the next few days to see if we can bridge the issues. On some issues we are able to agree, some important issues are still open, ”Mnuchin said, adding the pair will return to Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, Pelosi also indicated a thaw in the talks, after meeting with Menuchin and Meadows.
“We agree that we want to come to an agreement. Pelosi told reporters that in this case, we say again, this is our goal – we need to do what we have to do to get the engineer back from there.
The gap between the two sides, however, was large at the beginning of the negotiations and it is unclear how much, if any, it has shrunk since the negotiations began. A bill passed by the Democratic House in May would cost $ 3.4 trillion between 2020 and 2030, while passing bills introduced by Senate Republicans so far projected a $ 1.1 trillion 10-year cost by the Bildertsen committee has gone. A responsible federal budget.
In addition to the cost, the two sides have also been on some key issues, such as how to add the now unemployed benefit, reviving a federal financial benefit that totaled $ 600 weekly, as well as how much legal protection businesses have to give. . Schools and religious institutions from coronovirus-related lawsuits.
But other issues became easier to bridge. According to Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, the sides are not far off on expanding the paycheck protection program again. And both Democrats and Republicans want to send another round of $ 1200 payments to support families.
“It’s difficult. And in some cases we are following along. Pelosi said that in others we are making more progress, but it takes time and we will take more tomorrow.