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Mnuchin says GOP coronavirus relief package will be released Monday

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin visiting Jet Blue's Long Island City Support Center to meet with the company's leadership and crew members Friday, March 9, 2018 in Queens, New York. (Kevin C. Downs/New York Daily News/TNS)
July 27, 2020

United States Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin said Sunday morning that a coronavirus relief bill from Senate Republicans will be released Monday after FOX News host Chris Wallace pressed Mnuchin about the lack of GOP relief bill.

“House Democrats passed their relief bill back in May, fully two months ago but here we are, the last week of July, and the White House and Senate Republicans still can’t agree on just a GOP package,” Wallace said on “FOX News Sunday.”

The House, controlled by Democrats, passed a $3 trillion plan in May. The Republican-controlled Senate has yet to introduce their proposal for a new round of coronavirus relief.

The House Democrats relief plan, which the Senate Republicans rejected, included an extension of $600 increase in unemployment benefits, an additional $1,200 stimulus check and additional funding for testing and contact tracing.

Wallace also mentioned that the federal unemployment benefits and Payroll Protection Programs were due to run out soon and the federal ban on evictions ran out the day before.

“Won’t millions of Americans and millions of businesses pay the price because the White House and Senate Republicans can’t get your act together,” Wallace asked Mnuchin.

Mnuchin told Wallace that it was an “unfair characterization” of the current state of the GOP coronavirus relief plan.

“The administration and the Senate Republicans are completely on the same page,” Mnuchin told Wallace. “Mark Meadows and I were up yesterday just working on technical issues in the drafts. We had previously agreed on all these issues earlier in the week. We want to move forward quickly, the bill will be introduced Monday.”

GOP leaders had previously hoped to release the package on Thursday but delayed the release after the Trump administration requested additional time to review the bill, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Wallace asked Mnuchin about the delays.

“But Mr. Secretary, the plan was supposed to be announced on Wednesday, then Thursday,” Wallace said. “Now it’s next week and it’s two months after the Democrats came up with their plan.”

Mnuchin assured the FOX News host that the GOP and White House do have a plan.

The GOP plan is a $1 trillion relief package that includes another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, additional funding for elementary and secondary schools as well as a limited extension of the current unemployment benefits.

This morning White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that in addition to the stimulus checks, reemployment and retention bonuses and tax credits for small businesses will also be included in the relief package.

However, the plan will not include a payroll tax cut despite President Trump suggesting he wouldn’t sign the package without it.

During their conversations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Ca., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., “it was very clear that the Democrats were not going to give us a payroll tax cut so that is something that the president will come back and look at later in the year,” Mnuchin told Wallace.

Wallace corrected Mnuchin, noting that it was not just Democrats who were opposed the payroll tax cut, but also a number of top Republicans including Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tx.

“There were a number of Republicans who rejected this…They all said that they had no interest in that as well,” Wallace said. “So you got blowback from not just Democrats but from some top Republicans as well.”

Pelosi and Schumer released a joint statement Friday criticizing the Republican delay in their coronavirus relief plan.

“We had expected to be working throughout this weekend to find common ground on the next COVID response package,” the statement said. “It is simply unacceptable that Republicans have had this entire time to reach consensus among themselves and continue to flail.”


© 2020 USA Today