Apr 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mnuchin says deal could be struck on PPP as early as Sunday

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the White House and Congress may reach an agreement on supplemental funding for the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses later on Sunday.

Why it matters: The $349 billion program ran out of money last week, just two weeks after it launched, putting many small businesses in danger of closing for good and threatening a swift economic recovery when the virus passes.

The state of play: A $250 billion expansion for the program has been stalled in Congress as congressional Democrats and Republicans and the Trump administration have disagreed on additional funding for hospitals, food assistance, and state and local governments.

  • The PPP loans are forgivable if they are used for payroll and rent, and they're designed to keep otherwise healthy businesses afloat.

What he's saying: "I'm hopeful that we can reach an agreement, that the Senate can pass this tomorrow and that the House can take it up on Tuesday," Mnuchin said. "Wednesday we'd be back up and running. I think we're really close to a deal today."

  • Mnuchin would not say if the expansion will include additional funding for state and municipal governments, but he said that the administration has agreed to another $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for a federal testing program.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that she believes the two sides are "very close," while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on CNN that they could strike a deal on Sunday evening or Monday morning.

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told the Wall Street Journal last week that he agrees with the additional funding for hospitals, saying it "would be a very smart move right now."

Go deeper: Questions still loom over Paycheck Protection Program

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