Despite talks over a two-day period to reach a compromise on a new stimulus package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to strike a deal, CNBC reported.
Earlier on Wednesday (Sept. 30), Mnuchin expressed hope that an accord could be crafted that would satisfy Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill. He told the network that a proposal for another round of aid could be sent to Congress for consideration this week, the network reported.
After talking with Pelosi on Tuesday (Sept. 29), the Treasury Secretary said they met on Wednesday (Sept. 30) about the legislation.
“I say we’re going to give it one more serious try to get this done, and I think we’re hopeful that we can get something done,” he said during a conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor. “I think there is a reasonable compromise here.”
The Treasury secretary noted that his intention was to reach an understanding with Pelosi on more relief for Americans by Thursday (Oct. 1).
Mnuchin said he planned to offer Pelosi an alternative to the House’s $2.2 trillion aid bill. The revised Democratic plan included a second $1,200 check that would be sent to most Americans, reinstatement of the $600 benefit for the unemployed through January and more cash to fund the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The plan also included $436 billion in relief to state and local governments, $25 billion to airlines to cover payroll costs, $75 billion for COVID-19 testing, $225 billion for schools, $57 billion for childcare and billions for rental and mortgage assistance.
The GOP and Democratic leaders have been at an impasse since August on a potential fifth coronavirus relief package, as the number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has surpassed 200,000 and new outbreaks have been reported across the country.
Mnuchin said both sides agree on small business loans, school funding, direct payments to Americans, tax credits for employee retention and airline aid.
The White House, Senate Republicans and the Treasury have said they will lobby for liability protections for businesses, nonprofits and schools. That provision has been opposed by Democrats.
“Let’s see if we can get a compromise agreement with the speaker, something that works, and then we’ll continue to work with both sides on all the exact language and the policies,” Mnuchin said.
In an MSNBC interview earlier this week, Pelosi said she was also hopeful about the potential for an agreement. “We’ll just see what they come back with today and how our negotiations go next,” she said.