The White House carried out, on Sunday, yet another about-face on the revival of the economy, this time urging Congress to vote a miniplan intended to urgently help SMEs in difficulty.
The change comes after President Donald Trump’s Republican Party and the Democratic opposition rejected, for different reasons, a $ 1.8 trillion proposal made by the federal government on Friday to support the economy crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to Congress, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urge lawmakers to pass legislation that would allow the Trump administration to redirect some $ 130 billion not still used from the previous support plan called PPP (Paycheck Protection Program).
This envelope would be reserved for companies, in particular SMEs, facing declining revenues while discussions continue on more aid.
“Now is the time to come together and immediately pass legislation that allows us to spend unused Small Business Assistance Program funds, while we continue to work together on a larger aid package. The all-or-nothing approach is not an acceptable response to the American people, ”explained MM. Mnuchin and Meadows.
With around three weeks of the November 3 election, this request is unlikely to be accepted by the Democrats: their leader, Nancy Pelosi, who is negotiating with the administration, has already rejected any idea of targeted measures, saying she wants economic support large scale more likely, according to her, to give a boost to the activity.
The White House’s new strategy is the latest in a week in which President Donald Trump and his team have stepped up. They alternated between breaking off discussions, returning to the negotiating table, targeted measures and finally gestures in favor of the Democrats. Without much success.
Sign of a lack of a clear guideline: the Trump administration, to everyone’s surprise, on Friday increased to $ 1,800 billion, against $ 1,500 billion previously, its new envelope of support for the American economy, hoping to overcome the reluctance of democrats.
But this proposal was rejected by both the opposition and his own camp.
Deploring “one step forward, two steps back”, Nancy Pelosi felt that it was “not enough”.
“We still have disagreements on many priorities,” wrote the elected Democrat on Saturday to members of her parliamentary group, whose plan is valued at $ 2,200 billion.
Several Republican senators felt that the Trump administration’s offer was too generous. Mitch McConnell, their leader, had already warned on Friday that an agreement was “unlikely in the next three weeks.”
Republican senators oppose aid that would go to local communities, and more particularly to states severely affected by the pandemic, many of which are governed by Democrats.
The new plan to support the economy has become a major issue for the Republican camp: Democrat Joe Biden is now nearly ten points ahead in the national poll average and has also reinforced his advantage in voting intentions in the level of the decisive states for the election.
The economic picture is also disastrous: nearly 11 million people are unemployed, a total of 25 million people have seen their income fall due to the pandemic and are surviving thanks to public aid.
Many SMEs face cash flow problems threatening their survival, while large companies have started to lay off massively, a wave that should be difficult to contain, experts agree, without a helping hand from the federal government.