Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that Democrat and Republican lawmakers are attempting to create a deal for a COVID-19 package by the end of the week, coming just days after expanded unemployment benefits expired, while a congressional recess for August is looming.
“We did try to agree to set a timeline,” he said on Aug. 4, according to Fox News. “Were going to try to reach an overall agreement, if we can get one, by the end of this week.”
It came after Mnuchin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows spent several days attempting to hash out the details and come to a consensus on several key issues, including unemployment insurance benefits, aid to state and local governments, stimulus payments, liability protections, and more.
“They made some concessions, which we appreciated,” Schumer said after the meeting. “We made some concessions, which they appreciated.”
It isnt clear what those concessions might be.
This week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested that the $600 unemployment benefits may be continued if President Donald Trump is on board.
“Wherever this thing settles between the president of the United States and his team, who has to sign it into law, and the Democrat, not insignificant minority in the Senate and majority in the House, is something Im prepared to support,” McConnell told reporters on Aug. 4. “Even if I have some problems with certain parts of it.”
A week before that, McConnell and some other Republican lawmakers proposed $200-per-week unemployment payments before implementing a program that would pay 70 percent of unemployment beneficiaries wages.