The Trump administration on Sunday called on Congress to pass narrow-scope text to address the coronavirus crisis using the balance of an expired small business aid fund while negotiations for a comprehensive agreement are deadlocked.
The White House proposal, deemed insufficient by the Democrats, is the latest in a series of discussions between the Democrats, a majority in the House of Representatives and the Republicans, a majority in the Senate, to revive the American economy which struggling to recover from the health crisis which has thrown millions of people out of work.
In a letter to parliamentarians, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Secretary General Mark Meadows say they want to continue discussions with Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to try to reach agreement on a comprehensive bill.
They believe, however, that pending a possible compromise, Congress should “immediately approve” a law allowing the use of the remaining $ 130 billion of the Paycheck Protection Program, a business loan program set up. by the US federal government at the onset of the crisis and which ended in August.
“The all or nothing approach is an unacceptable response to the American people,” they argue.
A spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi, the main negotiator of the Democratic camp, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Elected Democrat Nita Lowey, chair of the House of Representatives’ appropriations committee, rejected the White House’s proposal, deeming it “largely insufficient”.
“We can only reopen our economy and lay the foundations for a solid recovery if we support local authorities and states on the front line in this crisis,” she wrote in a statement released on Sunday.
The White House on Friday proposed a global plan of 1.8 trillion dollars while the Democrats want 2.2 trillion dollars.