Pelosi, Mnuchin push coronavirus relief talks as U.S. Senate votes on limited bill

In this news, we discuss the Pelosi, Mnuchin push coronavirus relief talks as U.S. Senate votes on limited bill.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. Senate prepare to introduce legislation on Tuesday to replenish a program that helps small businesses criticized by the coronavirus, as House of Commons Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin discuss a broader stimulus plan.

Pelosi and Mnuchin, who have been intermittently negotiating a new coronavirus aid plan since August, plan to speak again on Tuesday after “continuing to narrow their differences” during a nearly hour-long call on Monday, wrote the Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill on Twitter.

Pelosi, the principal elected U.S. Democrat, set the end of the day on Tuesday as a deadline for a deal with the White House if a comprehensive coronavirus relief bill is to pass through both houses of Congress before the day. elections on November 3.

President Donald Trump’s administration has offered $ 1.8 trillion, while Pelosi has pushed for a $ 2.2 trillion aid and stimulus package. This is in addition to the $ 3 trillion in congressional coronavirus relief already approved in the spring.

While Pelosi said on Sunday she was optimistic a deal could be reached on a new package, and a spokeswoman on Monday said the White House was also “cautiously optimistic,” the optimism was down. large numbers in the Republican Senate, where many Republicans oppose the passage. more help with coronaviruses.

Senior Senate Republican John Thune expressed doubt on Monday that there would be enough Republican votes in the Senate to pass a comprehensive bill as large as the White House’s offer of $ 1.8 trillion.

“It would be difficult,” Thune, the Republican Senate whip, told reporters.

Instead, Senate Republicans will propose a new round of funding-only for the Paycheck Protection Program on Tuesday, a popular program that was launched earlier in the pandemic with bipartisan support to provide loans to small businesses. .

The measure is not expected to progress, as Senate Democrats have already made it known that they deem these targeted efforts insufficient.

McConnell said the Senate is also planning a vote Wednesday on a Republican proposal of more than $ 500 billion to include unemployment benefits and help to schools. It would provide people with $ 300 in weekly federal unemployment benefits, while Democrats want to return to the weekly level of $ 600 to a measure approved earlier this year.

Democrats blocked a similar Republican proposal last month and Wednesday’s measure is also expected to fail.

Susan Cornwell Report; Edited by Scott Malone and Rosalba O’Brien

Original © Thomson Reuters

Originally posted 2020-10-20 09:46:10.

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