Reuters, Aug 7
White House officials and Democratic leaders in the U.S. Congress concluded a long negotiating session on Thursday saying they had made progress on several coronavirus aid provisions of legislation but still have deep disagreements, Republican negotiators said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin emerged from the meeting saying the talks will continue on Friday but warned that without substantial progress at some point soon, President Donald Trump would be prepared to use his executive powers to provide some immediate aid.
“We’re still very far apart” on key issues, Mnuchin said.
He said the White House had offered a compromise on extending federal unemployment benefits and would consider giving aid to renters so that they do not get evicted during the coronavirus pandemic that has hobbled the U.S. economy.
He did not provide details.
Mnuchin also warned that Trump will not sign a bill that contains a large amount of money to aid state and local governments that have lost revenue during the months-long crisis.
Democrats have been seeking $3.4 trillion in a fifth major coronavirus bill this year. Republicans last week offered $1 trillion.