The U.S. senators are near agreement on more money to help small companies hurt by the coronavirus pandemic and could strike a deal as early as Monday, President Donald Trump stated Sunday.
Trump told in his daily White House briefing on the crisis that Republicans had been “close” to an accord with Democrats, and suggested there might be a decision Monday.
Senate Democratic chief Chuck Schumer had said he hoped a deal could be reached Sunday evening, though he warned that many issues remained.
Members of both the parties have been taking hits at one another over the delay in further small-enterprise aid, in opposition to a backdrop of protests by Trump supporters of orders for Americans to remain at home, and companies to stay closed, to prevent the further spread of the virus.
America has, by far, the world’s most significant number of confirmed coronavirus infections, with over 750,000 infections and more than 40,000 deaths.
An agreement on an interim offer would end a stalemate over Trump’s request to add $250 billion to a small-business loan program established in March as part of a $2.3 trillion coronavirus financial aid plan. That fund has already been utilized.
Democratic leaders want more money for small companies but with safeguards to make sure credit reaches underserved communities. They also sought more funds for state and native governments and hospitals, as well as food for the poor.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told senators on a conference call Sunday that extra funding Democrats wanted wouldn’t be in the package.