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U.S. official sees 'real desire' for smaller coronavirus relief bill

Coronavirus Aug 19, 2020 09:11AM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. The U.S. Capitol building is seen ahead of vote on coronavirus relief bill in Washington 2/2

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) - Some Democrats and Republicans have a "real desire" to reach agreement on a smaller coronavirus relief bill that could be worth around $500 billion, a senior Trump administration official said late on Tuesday.

The official said the agreement could include funding for the U.S. Postal Service, additional funding for loans to small- and medium-sized businesses to keep workers on their payrolls and potentially added money for schools.

"I think there’s a real desire by some in the Democratic caucus and some in the Republican conference, both in the House and the Senate, to do a smaller deal on the things we can agree upon," the official said. "It could be about $500 billion."

That amount still falls far short of what Democrats have been seeking in protracted discussions with the administration.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday said Democrats in Congress are willing to cut their relief bill in half to get an agreement on new legislation.

"We have to try to come to that agreement now," Pelosi said in an online interview with Politico. "We're willing to cut our bill in half to meet the needs right now."

The Democratic-led House passed legislation with over $3 trillion in relief in May. Democrats offered this month to reduce that sum by $1 trillion, but the White House rejected it.

The two sides remain about $2 trillion apart, with wide gaps on funding for schools, aid to state and local governments, and enhanced unemployment benefits.

The senior administration official said while a narrow agreement was possible on some issues, he did not see aid to state and local governments and a fresh round of stimulus checks as possible at the moment.

U.S. official sees 'real desire' for smaller coronavirus relief bill
 

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Comments (5)
Andrew carson
Andrew carson Aug 19, 2020 7:42AM ET
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"Desire" more like no choice because the Dems won't budge on their radical demands so we're stuck with a "smaller" relief bill if you want to call it that. ❌ NO to Joe
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Aug 19, 2020 3:32AM ET
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It takes the caring DEMS to push for '..aid to state and local governments..' because without that aid gov't services of all kinds get cut and reflect badly on the population's needs
Jj Piper
Jj Piper Aug 19, 2020 3:32AM ET
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no bailouts for runaway unfunded government pensions.
Evan cole
Evan cole Aug 19, 2020 3:07AM ET
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good. the only lazy Americans want a stimulus bill passed. no more bailouts! and no more stock buybacks
Seth Gray
Seth Gray Aug 19, 2020 3:07AM ET
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What was the total farm welfare paid in 2019? How about 2018? Lazy american farmers taking government welfare subs? That bail out? Or the 2billion boeing took to keep on failing? Which airline is on the edge of cutting all those lagards they still got on payroll? Lazy is right. Just wish the lazy could a bit passed this narrow thought pattern. GL
Kabir Chhabra
Kabir Chhabra Aug 19, 2020 3:07AM ET
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Jeremy Thornton  be careful if you're trading money that you cannot afford to lose, don't gamble your way to bankruptcy
Fat Gorilla
FatGorilla Aug 19, 2020 2:14AM ET
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All a bunch of do nothings, doing nothing. That’s the bottom line. The White House stepped in to save the day. Else, we’d be crashing till after labor day.
Jeremy Thornton
Jeremy Thornton Aug 19, 2020 2:14AM ET
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White house has an infection called Trump.
Andrew carson
Andrew carson Aug 19, 2020 2:14AM ET
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Jeremy Thornton You have an infection called your brain.
joe balone
joe balone Aug 19, 2020 2:14AM ET
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Jeremy Thornton maybe it's time to move somewhere that keeps its populace working and does not use closing down all business as a tool to wreck the economy all for getting back in power.
Thom Miller
Thom Miller Aug 19, 2020 2:14AM ET
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joe balone yes, it’s called North Korea!
Michael Paulsen
Michael Paulsen Aug 19, 2020 1:39AM ET
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They are terrible
 
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