The White House asked Congress to pass a bill to redirect unused portions of the last coronavirus relief effort after both parties rejected the administration’s latest stimulus proposal, The Washington Post reports.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asked Congress to redirect $130 billion in untapped funding left over from the Paycheck Protection Program as negotiations over a $1+ trillion plan stall.
“Now is the time for us to come together and immediately vote on a bill to allow us to spend the unused Paycheck Protection Program funds while we continue to work toward a comprehensive package,” the letter said.
The White House proposal would allow businesses that show they are still struggling to receive a second round of PPP funding.
Plan unlikely to work:
The plan is not likely to work after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi repeatedly rejected Trump’s attempts to pass stand-alone legislation rather than a large comprehensive bill.
Trump had called off negotiations on a comprehensive plan before announcing them revived days later last week. The administration offered a $1.8 trillion compromise that was swiftly rejected by House Democrats and Senate Republicans.
Democrats have been pushing for a bill worth over $3 trillion but passed a compromise offer that would provide $2.2 trillion in relief. Senate Republicans have pushed back on any legislation worth over $1 trillion, balking at requests to aid hard-hit states and cities.
White House says GOP will go along:
Trump’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow predicted that Senate Republicans would “go along” with the White House offer despite criticism.
“Republicans in the Senate put up their own bill a few weeks ago and got 53 votes, I think it was, so they united,” he told CNN. “I think if an agreement can be reached, they will go along with it.”
Host Jake Tapper noted that numerous Republicans have expressed anger at the White House proposal. Kudlow argued that Trump wanted to go even further than the $1.8 trillion Republicans rejected.
"President Trump actually has always said -- I mean, I have heard him say it in the Oval -- as far as the key elements are concerned, the checks, the unemployment assistance, the small business assistance -- we have got to help airlines out -- he would go further," Kudlow said. “I think if we could get this thing settled on the Democrat side, we will get it settled on the Republican side. There will still be further efforts of negotiation perhaps today but certainly this coming week.”