Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he will talk to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and is “hopeful” about a new deal being made.
“I say we’re going to give it one more serious try to get this done and I think we’re hopeful that we can get something done,” he said during a televised interview. “I think there is a reasonable compromise here.”
He added that he will try to come to an understanding with Pelosi on a relief package, amid reports that House Democrats are looking to vote on their updated $2.2. trillion HEROES Act in the near future. Mnuchin said he would counter her offer with a measure that resembles the $1.5 trillion House Problem Solvers caucus proposal that was proposed earlier this month.
That plan was previously rejected by Pelosi and other top House Democrats. It would provide $1,200 stimulus payments as well as $450-per-week unemployment benefits.
The Treasury secretary noted that both Democrats and the White House have agreed on several major issues including small business loans, school funding, stimulus payments, and some tax credits.
Mnuchin said the sides have found consensus on several major issues. Those include small business loans, funding for schools, direct payments to individuals, airline aid, and employee retention tax credits.
Mnuchin said he and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows spoke to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) about the stimulus measure.
“Let’s see if we can get a compromise agreement with the speaker, something that works, and then we’ll continue to work with both sides on all the exact language and the policies,” Mnuchin said.
However, some House GOP leaders this week rallied to voice their opposition to the updated HEROES Act.
“This bill recycles the same socialist wish list that was offered in the Heroes Act, which House Republicans overwhelmingly rejected,” House GOP Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) wrote in a memo, urging members to vote against it.
“Costing approximately $2.2 trillion, this is nothing more than a messaging exercise intended to appease the far-left base by included progressive policies that have nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic. Neither this bill nor anything like it will ever become law and Republicans should remain unified against this partisan power grab,” he said.
Conservative groups such as the Heritage Action, National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Numbers USA, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Taxpayers Protection Alliance, and the Eagle Forum have opposed the measure, according to his memo.