Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin cannot confirm when the White House and Democrats might reach a deal on vital coronavirus relief funds for the millions of Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I can’t speculate. If the Democrats are willing to be reasonable, there’s a compromise. If the Democrats are focused on politics and don’t want to do anything that’s going to succeed for the president, there won’t be a deal,” he told Fox Business Network.
The pandemic has claimed the lives of over 168,000 Americans according to the most up-to-date statistics. It has also ushered in a period of economic uncertainty for millions.
Earlier this week, President Donald Trump lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), accusing them of delaying crucial coronavirus relief legislation.
“So now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal. Amazing how it all works, isn’t it,” he wrote. “Where have they been for the last 4 weeks when they were “hardliners”, and only wanted BAILOUT MONEY for Democrat run states and cities that are failing badly? They know my phone number!”
The Democrat-led House passed The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act in May to supplement an earlier coronavirus relief package. However, the legislation was never taken up by the Senate, and benefits, including a highly valued $600 weekly unemployment bonus, were allowed to expire, endangering the financial prospects of millions of people.
The president attempted to bypass Congress on coronavirus relief, signing an order that grants a payroll tax holiday, another that would provide $400 a week in extra unemployment benefits, and a memorandum that extends the CARES Act’s eviction moratorium. These orders are unenforceable, say constitutional law experts.