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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Jul 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Republican leaders release $1 trillion coronavirus stimulus proposal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty Images

After days of intense debate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republican leaders rolled out a roughly $1 trillion proposal for the next round of coronavirus relief funding, which has the White House's seal of approval.

Why it matters: The HEALS Act (health, economic assistance, liability protection, schools) is viewed as a GOP marker for broader negotiations, since both Democrats and some Republicans have expressed dissatisfaction with key aspects of the bill. It's expected to change significantly in the coming days.

Jul 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans grow weary with White House over stimulus bill

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Frustration among many Senate Republicans, not to mention Democrats, toward the White House has hit a fever pitch, with many lawmakers — including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — admitting they could break for the August recess without a stimulus bill.

The latest: The Senate left for the weekend Thursday evening without even circulating a draft bill that McConnell says will be used as a starting point for negotiations — and many blame the White House.

Small businesses are drowning in coronavirus expenses

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Expenses are piling up for cash-strapped small businesses as they invest in what it takes to lure customers and workers back into shops: fancy air filters, plexiglass shields, and stockpiles of PPE.

Why it matters: Some small business owners are spending the equivalent of a month's worth of profit on precautionary equipment — even as they question whether it's worth it as the threat of more lockdowns loom.