Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said a coronavirus relief deal is unlikely before the election

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin walks towards the White House in Washington, U.S., July 9, 2020.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that Democrats and Republicans are unlikely to approve a broad coronavirus relief bill before Election Day next month.

“I’d say at this point getting something done before the election and executing on that would be difficult, just given where we are in the level of details,” Mnuchin said during a virtual event organized by the Milken Institute Global Conference.

He also suggested Democrats were unwilling to give President Donald Trump a victory before the election, saying it is “part of the reality.” Mnuchin added that Trump would continue pushing for a spending deal and said “the clock will not stop.”

Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have engaged in off-again, on-again negotiations for the past two weeks though the pair appear to have made little progress on reaching an agreement. The treasury secretary made a $1.8 trillion stimulus offer on Friday, but many Democrats panned it as insufficient and said it lacked a national testing strategy among other measures.

The pair spoke again for an hour on Tuesday morning, according to Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill on Twitter. “The two spent time seeking clarification on language, which was productive,” he said.

Read more: A $2.5 billion investment chief highlights the stock-market sectors poised to benefit the most if stimulus is passed after the election — and says Trump ending negotiations doesn’t threaten the economic recovery

Their discussions continue as Trump has increased his calls for a broad economic aid package in recent days, an abrupt change of course after ending the talks only a week ago. “Go big or go home!!!” the president wrote on Twitter.

Democrats have insisted on a comprehensive $2.2 trillion spending plan with the House approving an economic aid package of that scale. Senate Republicans rebuffed it. 

The White House on Sunday called for Congress to approve the distribution of $130 billion in unspent federal relief funds to aid small businesses, but Democrats rejected it. Mnuchin was critical of what he described as Pelosi’s “all or nothing approach.”

“From our perspective we could have immediate help to many different parts of the economy now,” he said.

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Source:: Business Insider


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