Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday said that while the U.S. economy is rebounding during the CCP virus-induced downturn, more government aid is likely needed.
Mnuchin said he was ready to resume negotiations with top Democrats after talks stalled on a stimulus package last month. With the Senate gearing up for a battle over President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the election, there has been less incentive to pass a pandemic relief deal.
“We are in a very different situation than we were the last time” when Congress passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act in March to offset losses incurred by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday. “At that time, the entire economy was shut down.”
Mnuchin said the next focus should be on supporting jobs and industries, providing funding to reopen schools, providing funding to the hard-hit travel and restaurant industries, and he wants to use some funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
“A full recovery is likely to come only when people are confident that it is safe to reengage in a broad range of activities,” Powell also wrote in prepared testimony, according to the Washington Post. “The path forward will depend on keeping the virus under control, and on policy actions taken at all levels of government.”
After Senate Democrats blocked the latest Republican proposal this month, Mnuchin said there is still a chance a pandemic relief deal could be made.
“The president and I want to have more support to help those American businesses impacted by this,” he said in a Tuesday interview. “I think there’s many areas of this where there is an agreement between Democrats and Republicans. There are some areas where we have differences on the amounts. But I will continue to work on this. I told (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) I’m available anytime to negotiate.”
Democrats and the White House were at odds over a number of provisions including whether to provide funding to states and cities. In the House Democrat-passed HEROES Act, about $1 trillion was proposed for local jurisdictions.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday again asserted that Democrats are “only interested in BAILING OUT” states that are run by Democrats, and “they are not interested in our workers or small businesses.”
On Sept. 18, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) again said that her caucus won’t accept a measure worth less than $2.2 trillion.
It came after Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement that they welcome calls from President Trump and the White House to pass a higher-dollar bill. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump wants a bill greater than $500 billion.
“We are encouraged that after months of the Senate Republicans insisting on shortchanging the massive needs of the American people, President Trump is now calling on Republicans to ‘go for the much higher numbers’ in the next coronavirus relief package,” the two top Democrats said in their statement. “We look forward to hearing from the President’s negotiators that they will finally meet us halfway with a bill that is equal to the massive health and economic crises gripping our nation.”