April 9, 2020 | From The Washington Times
Congressional Democratic leaders proposed Wednesday adding hundreds of billions of dollars for health care, state and local governments, and food stamps to $250 billion in fresh emergency aid President Donald Trump wants to help small businesses weather the coronavirus epidemic.
Trump requested an additional $250 billion for a just-launched small businesses payroll program and is looking to secure congressional passage this week. For that he will need Democratic support.
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They say they will approve the $250 billion in assistance to small businesses, but want $125 billion of that channeled through community-based financial institutions that serve farmers, families, women, minorities and veterans.
They’re also calling for an additional $100 billion for hospitals and community health centers to provide testing supplies and protective equipment like masks and gowns. They are seeking another $150 billion for state and local governments to manage the coronavirus crisis.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested the additional $250 billion in a private calls to Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Democrats largely support it as a component of a broader new aid package.
McConnell wants to swiftly pass it through Congress this week. The House and Senate are all but shuttered, and it’s unclear how the Democrats‘ new request will affect the prospect of holding a vote with just 48 hours notice.
Congress is also racing to craft the next coronavirus rescue package.
(Excerpt from The Washington Times.)
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