Stimulus Deal Before Election Will Be ‘Difficult,’ Mnuchin Says
Negotiations over an additional coronavirus relief package remain stalled, as both sides are still at odds over issues like employer liability and oversight of aid to states.
Mnuchin Says COVID-19 Relief Before Election 'Would Be Difficult'
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday cast doubt on the prospects of getting a fifth COVID-19 relief package deal approved before Election Day. "I’d say at this point getting something done before the election and executing on that would be difficult," he said at the Milken Institute Global Conference. (Elis, 10/14)
Coronavirus Relief Bill Talks Snagged Over Testing, Liability, Other Issues
[Mnuchin] again stressed the need for liability protection from pandemic-related lawsuits for small businesses and schools that reopen. Democrats have stressed the need to protect workers who risk their health by returning to job sites. "Having that immunity from prosecution or for taking responsibility, if that's a deal breaker for them, not having it in there, I think that it should be a deal breaker for us to leave it in there," Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said on a press call Wednesday. "We have to make sure that there is some ability for safety of workers. And right now, that's not where they are.” (Lerman, 10/14)
Millions Of Workers Face Jobless Benefits Cliff With Lifeline Set To Expire
A failure by Congress to enact a new economic relief package would prolong the pain of the coronavirus crisis for many Americans, but those without jobs face a special threat — millions could run out of unemployment benefits altogether by the end of the year. The Senate reconvenes on Monday, giving lawmakers about two weeks to send legislation to President Donald Trump before the Nov. 3 election. But the sides are far apart, with Democrats demanding at least $2 trillion in funds, Republicans pushing for $500 billion, and the White House attempting to bridge the gap even as Trump sends conflicting signals about what he wants. (Mueller and Rainey, 10/14)
In other news from Capital Hill —
Michigan Republican Isolating After Positive Coronavirus Test
Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) said Wednesday that he is self-isolating after taking a rapid coronavirus test that came back positive ahead of a planned appearance with Vice President Pence, saying he is awaiting confirmation that he does have the virus. "Earlier today, I was expected to appear with the Vice President. While taking part in offsite testing protocols, I took a rapid test that came back positive for COVID-19. I am awaiting the results of a PCR test and I am self isolating until I have confirmed results," Huizenga tweeted. (Marcos, 10/14)