Washigton – The government of President Donald Trump and Congress are close to an agreement regarding a package of up to $ 450,000 million to promote a program of small business loans that has already run out of money and inject funds for hospitals and COVID-19 tests. .
“We are close to an agreement,” Trump declared this Sunday.
Along with the boost to small businesses, the president said negotiators were trying to “help our hospitals,” especially health providers in affected rural areas.RELATED
The pact could be released tomorrow, Monday, the president said during a press conference at the White House.
Faced with problems small business owners are experiencing during the coronavirus outbreak that has paralyzed many economic activities, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said hours earlier Sunday that he hoped Congress would quickly approve the deal in order to revive the management program. Small Business midweek.
“I think we are very close to an agreement today. I hope we can make it happen, “he declared.
Democratic minority leader in the Senate Chuck Schumer said he believed the deal could be finalized by Sunday night or Monday morning.
“There are still some details to attend to,” he said.
The Senate is scheduled for a brief session on Monday, but a vote has not been scheduled.
The House of Representatives announced that it could meet on Wednesday for a recorded vote on the pending package, according to an update on the agenda of Democratic majority leader Steny Hoyer.
The package would include $ 300 billion for the small business payroll program, and an additional $ 50 billion would be made available for the small business disaster fund. In addition, it would earmark $ 75 billion for hospitals and $ 25 billion for testing, according to those involved in the negotiations.
During a conference call Sunday involving Trump, Mnuchin and Republican senators, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the only issue pending discussion was related to money for the tests, according to an aide to a member of the Republican Senate leadership who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to reveal a private conversation.
Under the pact, the government’s small business protection program would receive about $ 300 billion, Mnuchin said. The program has been overwhelmed by the huge number of companies that have applied for loans, and last Thursday it reached its allocation limit after approving almost $ 1.7 million credits. That left thousands of small companies in limbo as they sought help. Approximately an additional $ 50 billion in the deal would be for disaster loans.
Some $ 75 billion would go to hospitals, both for those overwhelmed by the growing number of coronavirus cases and those struggling to stay financially afloat after suspending non-urgent surgeries during the pandemic. About $ 25 billion would be added for COVID-19 testing, something several states have said they urgently need. Money for hospitals and tests was a priority for Democratic lawmakers.
But there would be no additional help for local and state governments, Mnuchin said. Democrats have been willing to push funding to state and local governments whose revenues have declined dramatically, but the issue threatened to spark disputes between big states with huge taxes like California and New York and smaller entities, usually governed by Republicans.
“The president is willing to consider that in the next proposal, but now he wants to do this by focusing on small businesses, hospitals and testing,” said Mnuchin.