Can Congress come to an agreement to send more funds to the Paycheck Protection Program? The all-but-grant program shoves cash at business owners who keep their employees on the payroll during the shutdown, but the cash will run out by next week. Congress won’t return until May 4th at the earliest, which means Republicans and Democrats have to use the “unanimous consent” dodge that failed when the CARES Act first passed.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has taken charge of negotiations with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and they’re expected to reach an agreement sooon, The Hill reports. That, however, will not likely solve the problem:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) are expected to reach a deal this week on an interim coronavirus relief bill that would provide money to businesses, hospitals and state governments. …
Mnuchin, speaking at the White House on Monday, said legislation should focus on small-business programs and that other issues such as funding for state governments and hospitals should be dealt with separately — though he also expressed a willingness to work with Congress on getting money to various needs.
“This was a bipartisan program,” Mnuchin noted at a White House briefing. “We should top up that program now. I know the Democrats want to talk about more money for hospitals and states. Right now we’re just sending the money out to the hospitals and states. They haven’t come close to using that money.”
GOP aides, however, think a deal is likely.