Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Saturday that the roll out of the next COVID-19 package by the Republicans is set on Monday.
He also assured that the new package has the backing from the White House, as he and President Donald Trump’s top aide discussed to salvage the $1 trillion proposal that was almost discarded days before.
Mnuchin said that the President’s priority was to extend an expiring unemployment benefit, albeit reducing it substantially.
He called the $600 weekly aid “ridiculous” and might rather discourage people to go back to work, and promised that a new round of stimulus checks will be sent out in August.
Mnuchin and the President’s acting chief of staff Mark Meadows had spent several hours with GOP staff at the Capitol in preparation to “move quickly,” hence the secretary’s confidence that the president would “absolutely” support the emerging Republican package.
Mnuchin’s optimistic assessment before Democrats publicly scrutinized the updated proposal, and remains the starting point upon meeting the House and Senate leaders in the other party for negotiations.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has been called ahead of the negotiations next week to discuss the broader deal.
The White House and Senate Republicans hurriedly regrouped after the after the first attempt to introduce $1 trillion virus rescue bill collapsed amid GOP infighting over its size, scope and details.
The said bill was expected to bring $105 billion to add new money for virus testing, help schools reopen and boost benefits for businesses, which includes a fresh round of loans, tax breaks and liability shield from COVID-related lawsuits.
“The president has been very clear. He wants to make sure that the American people have what they need during this unprecedented time,” Meadows said, “to make sure not only the money is there but the programs.”