The White House and Democrats in the United States Congress pointed out this Sunday that could soon reach agreement to increase aid to small businesses devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are so close”said the vice president Mike Pence to the chain Fox News on negotiations to replenish the wage protection program, which exhausted the $ 349 billion allocated to it last Thursday. “We are going to work to expand it so that no one who works for a small business in the United States has to worry about losing their pay,” he added.
Democrats also expect the deal to include more money for hospitals, testing, and state governments.
President Donald trumpFor his part, he insisted that his administration will deal with millions of American families and businesses that have suffered the destruction caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which in the United States has infected 735,000 people and caused 39,000 deaths.
The Secretary of the Treasury, Steven MnuchinHe was also optimistic and said that the agreement and subsequent approval could be in the coming days. “I think that today we are very close to reaching an agreement”, said to CNN, and estimated a figure of $ 300 billion for aid, higher than the 250,000 that were under discussion last week.
Mnuchin said the White House had also agreed to add $ 75 billion for first-line care hospitals and health services, and another $ 25 billion to speed up testing for the virus., concessions for Democrats.
The Democratic leader of the American Congress, Nancy Pelosi, shared optimism about the development of the negotiations. “We are on a very good path”, recognized the chain Fox, ensuring that an agreement could be reached “soon”.
His statements mark a change in the expectation that was presented last week, when Pelosi suggested that the text could be approved in Congress “before the end of the month.”
Chuck schumer, the Democratic minority leader in the Senate, was more forceful: “I am very hopeful that we can reach an agreement tonight or early tomorrow morning,” he said.
On April 8, the US Congress began to analyze an additional aid package to contain the economic impact of the coronavirus, with more funds for small and medium-sized companies, as well as for state and local governments, and whose total amount could amount to to $ 500 billion.
On March 27, the US House of Representatives It had overwhelmingly approved a fiscal stimulus package of more than $ 2 trillion, which represents about 10% of the country’s gross domestic product, and had already been endorsed by the Senate, to try to alleviate the economic consequences of the disease. .
For his part, amid the economic impact of the pandemic, Mnuchin considered that the economic recovery of the United States will be a matter of months and not years. “I think it will be months, I definitely do not think it will be years,” said the official in an interview with the “State of the Union” program of the US network. CNN.
The situation of thousands of households in the country, many of which have started receiving aid checks to contain the economic impact of the pandemic, has encouraged conservative groups to call protests to demand that state governors relax their measures. confinement and allow a return to activity in certain sectors.
With information from AFP and EFE