Continuation of discussions in Washington on new economic aid

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Negotiations continued on Sunday in Washington and will continue on Monday between the Trump administration and Congress on new, now urgent economic aid, within two weeks of the expiration of the measures contained in the first stimulus package.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke by phone Sunday for half an hour, according to a tweet from Nancy Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill.

They have to talk to each other again on Monday, he said.

Democrats and Republicans have been discussing since July to provide additional financial support to households, businesses, local authorities, which are suffering from the crisis linked to Covid-19.

Two of the major areas of disagreement are assistance to local communities, requested by the Democrats, and legal protection for companies, but also universities and schools, against possible prosecution, especially in the event of contamination with Covid-19 of an employee or a student.

Nancy Pelosi believes that “the need to fund states and localities is all the more important, as states have the responsibility to distribute and administer vaccines,” said Drew Hammill in his tweet.

“Workers in the health sector and on the front line (…) risk losing their jobs” without this support, he added.

As for legal liability, “a compromise (…) must be found which does not endanger the safety of workers,” commented Nancy Pelosi’s spokesperson.

Several proposals are circulating for this plan. A small group of Democratic and Republican parliamentarians had made one to 908 billion dollars, which served as a basis for negotiations.

The Trump administration made a new one on Tuesday, at $ 916 billion, but it was immediately rejected by leaders of the Democratic opposition, disagreeing with the measures included in it.

As for the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, he favors targeted measures, for about 500 billion dollars.

Either way, it will only be a “down payment” on the vast stimulus package that President-elect Joe Biden intends to pass after his arrival at the White House on January 20.

Aid to the unemployed under the massive $ 2.2 trillion stimulus package adopted in the spring expires on Boxing Day, and millions of Americans will be left without income overnight.

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