“With families, businesses and local communities truly hurting from the impacts of this health and economic crisis, it’s unconscionable for Congress to go home without taking action,” said Representative Josh Gottheimer, Democrat of New Jersey. “Right now, there’s a huge amount of support from both sides of the aisle to finally get a new relief package over the finish line, and I’m hopeful that the legislation being announced today can help get the House and Senate to come to an agreement and that the president can sign it into law as soon as possible.”
After negotiating an agreement early last week to avoid a government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins on Thursday, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Mnuchin agreed to resume conversations surrounding a broader relief package.
“I think we can find our common ground, and we’re ready when he comes back,” Ms. Pelosi said on MSNBC early Monday, before her call with Mr. Mnuchin. “We’re ready to have that conversation, but he has to come back with much more money to get the job done. So, I’m hopeful. I’m optimistic.”
Mr. Mnuchin, along with Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, has repeatedly urged Congress to provide more economic aid, with programs and funding approved in the $2.2 trillion stimulus law in March continuing to expire. But some Senate Republicans and some White House officials have warned against adding to the nation’s debt with another sweeping package, even as many economists have warned it is necessary to ensure a swift recovery from the economic toll of the pandemic.
“If Democrats are willing to sit down, I’m willing to sit down any time for bipartisan legislation in the Senate,” Mr. Mnuchin said in testimony this month before the Senate Banking Committee. “Let’s pass something quickly.”
The legislation unveiled on Monday would also delay deadlines for both the collection of census data and the submission of redistricting data to Congress, which the White House has been trying to speed ahead on and resisted including in the stopgap funding bill. It would provide $75 billion for coronavirus testing and tracing, offer funds for rental assistance, require a federal standard for worker protections against the coronavirus and revive a lapsed popular program for small businesses.