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Coronavirus relief deal for U.S. small businesses may come Monday, Trump says

CoronavirusApr 19, 2020 09:30PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: House Speaker Pelosi holds coronavirus aid bill signing ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington 2/2

By Nandita Bose and Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Democrats and Republicans are near agreement on extra money to help small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic and could seal a deal as early as Monday, President Donald Trump said on Sunday.

Trump told his daily White House briefing on the crisis that Republicans were "close" to an agreement with Democrats, and suggested there could be a resolution on Monday.

"A lot of good work has been going on. We could have an answer tomorrow," the Republican president said.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer had said he hoped a deal could be reached on Sunday evening, although he cautioned that many issues remained.

Members of the two parties have been taking shots at one another over the delay in further small-business aid, against a backdrop of protests by Trump supporters of orders for Americans to stay at home, and businesses to remain closed, to prevent the further spread of the virus.

The United States has by far the world's largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 750,000 infections and over 40,000 deaths.

An agreement on an interim deal would end a stalemate over Trump's request to add $250 billion to a small-business loan program established last month as part of a $2.3 trillion coronavirus economic relief plan. That fund has already been exhausted.

Democratic leaders want more money for small businesses but with safeguards to ensure credit reaches underserved communities. They also sought more funds for state and local governments and hospitals, as well as food aid for the poor.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told senators on a conference call on Sunday that additional funding Democrats wanted would not be in the package.

Congress plans to take up another major coronavirus relief measure after the small-business fund is replenished. In a possible precursor, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and Republican Senator Bill Cassidy said on Sunday they would formally introduce legislation to create a $500 billion fund to help state and local governments respond to the crisis.

Trump told his news briefing that he was in favor of aid to state and local governments, but in future legislation.

House leaders put out a schedule update saying a vote on interim legislation was likely this week, and that the chamber could meet as early as Wednesday.

GOVERNORS SPARRING WITH TRUMP

As they spar with Trump over when to reopen their economies, governors of hard-hit states have said they need more federal funding for increased testing and to cope with the pandemic's effect on their budgets.

"You have the president saying 15 times, 'It's up to the governors, it's up to the governors, it's up to the governors.' And then they're going to pass a piece of legislation that gives you know what to states? Zero," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said at his daily coronavirus briefing.

Trump said Vice President Mike Pence would lead a call with all 50 state governors on Monday to talk about further aid.

Mnuchin said on CNN the deal being discussed with Congress would include $300 billion more for the Paycheck Protection Program loan program for small businesses.

He said there would be $75 billion allocated to hospitals and a $25 billion federal program "that can be used with the states with new technology to invest in testing."

About $50 billion would be added to the Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan fund, Mnuchin said.

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, told ABC's "This Week" that Democrats wanted to ensure further relief money was reaching "all of America's small businesses."

More than 25% of the $350 billion already allocated went to fewer than 2% of the firms that got relief, and they included publicly traded companies with thousands of employees, highly paid executives and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales.

Trump defended restaurant chains, hotel operators and hedge funds accessing funding meant for small businesses.

“Even if it’s owned by a big chain, it’s devastating, you know,” he said. "I read where my wonderful place in Florida, in Miami, Doral, they had a lot of the employees go because it is essentially closed."

Coronavirus relief deal for U.S. small businesses may come Monday, Trump says
 

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Comments (10)
William Smith
William Smith Apr 19, 2020 10:18PM ET
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Just threw up my supper!
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Apr 19, 2020 9:39PM ET
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Amazing The pictured can look in a mirror and 1. not be scared, and 2. not ashamed-
Samantha Solomon
SamanthaS Apr 19, 2020 4:36PM ET
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The first small business loan bailout should have been called the Texas Bailout for Small Businesses with annual sales of one million. Most truly small business were left out and with a disproportionate amount of ''small'' business loans in red states.
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Apr 19, 2020 4:36PM ET
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Like NY, Ca., seriously?
William Smith
William Smith Apr 19, 2020 4:36PM ET
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It's been pointed out the folks in blue states are not smart enough to figure the application process out.
Shane Thomas
Shane Thomas Apr 19, 2020 3:25PM ET
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The Queen of Pork has arrived with her plastic smile and I have to say appears somewhat sober atm.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:40PM ET
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Free money for all, Lets in rain. Merry xmas.
Tommy Zhang
Tommy Zhang Apr 19, 2020 1:38PM ET
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Im not believing these crooks again.
Sam Crowther
Sam Crowther Apr 19, 2020 9:31AM ET
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Scariest part of the $25 Million to Kennedy Center is right before they closed down they donated $5 million to DNC....money laundering much?
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Apr 19, 2020 9:31AM ET
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Good reporting Sam!When I read the article, it mentions batrleground states that's exactly what I thought of. The Democrat party is almost as good at theft as China. Isn't there a way to advertise this type thing more so citizens, and everyone else can see what conniving, indecent principles Democrats work off of? BTW, Good close up to see what results Allergan products can do for someones face -
David David
David9 Apr 19, 2020 9:31AM ET
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From what I know, Democrats does not value lies. They stayed true to their words and are less corrupt.
Joe Ruscigno
Joe Ruscigno Apr 19, 2020 9:31AM ET
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David David are you in a coma?
David David
David9 Apr 19, 2020 9:30AM ET
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Hurry up....I haven't gotten my $1,200 check yet.
Bill Chan
Bill Chan Apr 19, 2020 9:30AM ET
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I'm from Malaysia. Can I get? My pal is David Wong. David9 is David Wong?
Bill Chan
Bill Chan Apr 19, 2020 9:30AM ET
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Kaveh Sun Change to American so easily? They not racist chinese?
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Apr 19, 2020 9:30AM ET
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YOU are crass ing me up !Are you people for Freakin' real ?A real kneeslapper !
Sam Crowther
Sam Crowther Apr 19, 2020 9:29AM ET
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Typical Democrats using a time of crisis for their predatory agenda. Interesting how they were so admit about $25 million in funding to the Kennedy Center and then the regular wage employees like the Orchestra band members were forloughed from pay...
rob finch
rob finch Apr 19, 2020 9:26AM ET
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Another payday for Pelosi
Chris Martin
Chris Martin Apr 19, 2020 9:26AM ET
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I'm sure she'll get another freezer full of ice cream. AND another "treatment". These vampires need constant transfusions -
 
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