White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Friday that President Trump has signed off on a new proposal for a coronavirus relief deal with Congress.
“The developments are very positive. They are very constructive. This is breakthrough stuff,” Mr. Kudlow said.
He didn’t give too many details on when the deal will be announced, but he expected it to include funds for small business Paycheck Protection Program loans, direct payments to Americans, enhanced unemployment benefits and airline relief.
The proposal is expected to be about $1.8 trillion, according to multiple reports.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin spoke Friday about the proposal for about 30 minutes, but no deal between the White House and Democrats has been reached.
“Of special concern, is the absence of an agreement on a strategic plan to crush the virus,” said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill. “For this and other provisions, we are still awaiting language from the administration as negotiations on the overall funding amount continue.”
Mr. Trump sent out an enthusiastic message about how negotiations were going.
“Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!” he tweeted.
It’s been a tumultuous week for stimulus talks, with Mr. Trump calling off a comprehensive deal on Tuesday, before scaling back and pushing for a skinny fix for airline relief, small business loans and $1,200 direct payments.
Mrs. Pelosi said that there would be no stand-alone relief bill without a larger deal, and now negotiations have shifted back in that direction.
However, while the speaker and the White House are sending optimistic signals on a deal, there is still the Senate to contend with.
In July, Senate Republicans didn’t entirely rally around the $1 trillion GOP proposal endorsed by the White House, and any deal reached with House Democrats would be well above that amount.
In Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he saw the situation as “kind of murky” given how close Election Day is.
“I’d like to see us rise above that like we did back in March and April, but I think that’s unlikely in the next three weeks,” he said.