U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the White House will resume COVID-19 stimulus negotiations with Democrats and is willing to provide more dollars to reach a compromise.
“The president is determined to spend what we need to spend, we’re prepared to put more money on the table.” Mnuchin told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”
The Secretary did not provide a timeline for the resumption of discussions with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) after negotiations stalled Friday (Aug. 7).
But Mnuchin said if Democrats are willing to compromise and make a fair offer, he hopes a deal could be reached soon.
“If we can get a fair deal we’re willing to do it this week,” Mnuchin said.
Over the weekend, President Donald Trump took executive action to direct the federal government to provide relief for struggling taxpayers and businesses.
The president’s action Saturday (Aug. 8) from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, provides federal unemployment benefits, defers some payroll taxes, helps renters and homeowners behind on their payments and extends relief on student loans.
But Pelosi, along with presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, criticized Trump’s executive orders as half-measures. Pelosi said it was essential to pass a bill, and she had been amenable to shortening the length of time benefits are offered so as to meet Republicans’ cost concerns halfway.
On Monday (Aug. 10), Schumer told MSNBC that Trump’s actions are “unworkable, weak and far too narrow.”
In May, House Democrats approved spending of more than $3 trillion on a rescue package while the GOP have called for $1 trillion in assistance.
The Democrats said the White House rejected an offer to meet in the middle with roughly $2 trillion legislation.
Mnuchin said there is agreement between both parties on another round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and another direct payment of $1,200 per taxpayer.
But there is still disagreement on relief for cash-strapped states and municipalities.
Democrats have insisted on nearly $1 trillion in aid to avoid cuts to essential services, but Republicans say that amount is too high.
“We’re not going to give a trillion dollars for state and local, that’s just not a reasonable approach,” Mnuchin told CNBC.