WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday they were close to striking a deal to replenish a popular program to help small businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic.
Both Democrats and Mnuchin said they hoped an agreement could be completed in time for consideration by the Senate early this week. A deal would mark the latest step in sweeping government efforts to deal with the consequences of the pandemic, which has thrown millions of Americans out of work as businesses across the country closed their doors. The agreement was also expected to include $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion to expand testing for the virus nationwide, Mnuchin said
“I’m hopeful we can reach an agreement the Senate can pass tomorrow and the House can pass Tuesday,” Mnuchin said Sunday on CNN. “We’re making a lot of progress.” But later in the day, aides said it would take time to complete the deal, and it was unclear when it would be brought to a vote in the Senate or House.
President Donald Trump, at a White House briefing on Sunday evening, said there were “very good negotiations” between the administration and Democrats. “I think you could have a nice answer tomorrow, but we’ll see.”