Washington – High-level negotiations between Congress and the White House faltered on Sunday over a nearly $ 1.4 trillion economic bailout package as the coronavirus crisis deepens and President Donald Trump called for a deal to stabilize a closed nation.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a deal was possible, but Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress said there was not yet one after a one-hour meeting on Capitol Hill.
With a population on the edge, rewritten social norms and shocked financial markets, all sides hoped for a deal that will provide some relief from the health and economic crisis, which now appears to last for several months.RELATED
“We keep talking,” said Senate minority leader Democrat Chuck Schumer, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats will present their own bill.
Senate Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell promised the Senate will seek a procedural vote Sunday as negotiations continue. “At some point here, we will have to stop,” said McConnell, who wants the project to be approved by Monday.
“It will be done,” Mnuchin said on the “Fox News Sunday” show, saying the plan was intended to shore up the nation’s weakened economy for the next 10 to 12 weeks.
“I think the president has every expectation that this will look much better in four to eight weeks,” added the secretary. “If for some reason, within 10 weeks with this virus we have not won, we will return to Congress again.”
However, as Congressional leaders worked to send aid, alarms were heard from coast to coast about the wave of coronavirus cases about to impact the nation’s health system. Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, epicenter of the epidemic in the United States, warned that this will worsen.
“April and May are going to be much worse,” De Blasio said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program, asking Washington to help them buy ventilators and other medical supplies. The mayor also accused the president of “not lifting a finger” to help his hometown.