“I think we’re very close to a deal today. I’m hopeful that we can get that done,” Mnuchin told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” Mnuchin told Tapper he is hopeful that if a deal is reached, the Senate could pass the bill on Monday and the House could pass the bill Tuesday.
Mnuchin said that there will be money for testing, hospitals and small businesses in the new bill, but at this point, there will not be money for state and local governments. He said that the deal would allocate $300 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $50 billion appropriated for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion to invest in testing.
And while some analysts and experts tell CNN that ultimately the PPP might need upwards of $1 trillion, Mnuchin said that another $300 billion “should be sufficient to reach almost everybody.”
“I’m hopeful that we can reach an agreement that the Senate can pass this tomorrow, and that the House can take it up on Tuesday. Wednesday, we would be back up and running,” he said.
A source involved with the talks told CNN that the numbers haven’t been finalized, but the PPP will receive closer to $310 billion, which includes a set-aside for under-served businesses like ones run by minorities and rural businesses, as requested by Democrats.
The source also confirmed Mnuchin’s numbers for hospitals and testing, but said that the deal would instead have $60 billion for disaster loans under the separate Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
President Donald Trump has not given the final sign off yet, the source said, and some final details still need to be ironed out Sunday.
Mnuchin said that he’s had “constant discussions” with Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who are “all on board with the same plan.”
“The President has heard from the governors and he’s prepared to discuss that in the next bill,” Mnuchin told CNN, saying that the federal government still has funds from the $2.2 trillion stimulus law enacted last month to distribute to the states.
But later on the same program, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats are continuing “to push hard” for that funding.
“It is so important. We don’t want our police, our firefighters, our EMTs, our bus drivers — this is not an abstract issue — we don’t want them fired. They’re as important as anybody else,” Schumer said.
Despite Schumer’s comments on CNN that he was still pushing for more state and local government money, the source told CNN that it will not be in the final deal. Neither will Democrats’ ask for hazard pay for frontline workers, the source said.
Schumer told Tapper that “we’ve made very good progress” in funding talks and was optimistic that Democrats, Republicans and the administration could come to an agreement Sunday night or early Monday morning.
Pelosi said on ABC News’ “This Week” that the negotiators “have common ground,” adding, “I think we’re very close to agreement.”
Many small businesses have been struggling to stay afloat and are on the precipice of collapse as the coronavirus pandemic has caused nonessential businesses to close until stay-at-home orders are lifted. Tens of thousands of businesses were unable to access the PPP before it ran out of money in less than two weeks.
Pelosi said on “Fox News Sunday” that relevant congressional committee chairs had arrived at the idea of proxy voting after she tasked them with considering ways to keep up with House business while members adhered to federal guidelines recommending against travel and gathering in groups.
“I’m taking their recommendation,” Pelosi said.
Proxy voting would require a rule change and thus would need broad support from both parties in order to pass with so many lawmakers out of town. It is seen as an option that would represent less of a dramatic change than remote voting, which poses some security concerns.
This story has been updated with additional developments Sunday.
CNN’s Nicky Robertson, Sarah Westwood, Phil Mattingly and Lauren Fox contributed to this report.