With just 36 days until the presidential election, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are still trying to iron out the details of a compromise coronavirus stimulus plan.
CNBC reported Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke for 50 minutes Tuesday morning (Sept. 29) and deliberated over the provisions of the Democrats’ latest proposal, Drew Hammill, spokesman for Pelosi, told CNBC.
House Democrats unveiled a $2.2 trillion relief package Monday night as they try to break a months-long stalemate with the Republican-led Senate and the White House.
Under the revised plan, a second $1,200 check would be sent to most Americans, the $600 benefit for the unemployed would be reinstated through January and more cash would be available to fund Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for the hardest-hit businesses and industries. The plan also includes $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.
In May, the Democratic-controlled House passed a follow-up to the CARES Act that included more than $3 trillion in relief for state and local governments, a second direct payment to Americans, hazard pay for front-line workers, more money for coronavirus testing and a temporary rollback of the cap on state and local tax deductions.
But Republicans, who hold a majority in the Senate, quickly rejected the House bill, saying it was too expensive.
In response, Republicans unveiled a $500 billion stimulus package earlier this month that includes another round of Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans for small businesses, but does not contain a second $1,200 direct payment to taxpayers.
But Democrats rejected the bill, calling it inadequate. Pelosi told her Democratic colleagues in the House that the party is making good on a promise to compromise with the bill that trimmed more than $1 trillion from their original plan.
Republicans have expressed concerns about adding to the trillions the U.S. debt. They have said Congress has already spent a considerable amount of money to ease economic damage and fight the pandemic.