U.S. policymakers and the White House neared agreement on a coronavirus economic aid package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated Thursday, adding she hoped to declare a deal on Friday.
The Democratic part of the House of Representatives and the Republican-Senate have been debating over the legislation. Pelosi, a Democrat, spent much of Thursday negotiating with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was handling the talks for the Prez Trump’s Republican administration.
Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke by telephone eight times, Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill stated. They were “near an agreement topic to an exchange of paper and we hope to have an agreement tomorrow,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday evening, pledging to carry the matter to a vote in the House Friday.
Pelosi repeatedly stressed that the bill should encourage Americans to be tested for the coronavirus and not need to be worried about the cost.
A House Republican aide stated Republicans weren’t against free testing; however, that some technical facets of the laws needed to be fixed.
Pelosi and her fellow Democrats Wednesday evening made a 124-page draft to expand paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, funding for child nutrition and other food programs and introduced other sweeping measures to address economic hardships that the growing coronavirus pandemic may hurt Americans.
Senate majority chief Mitch McConnell called the Democrats’ draft “an ideological wish list” that will create burdensome programs and rules.