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Pelosi: Lawmakers 'very close' on bipartisan agreement for additional PPP funding

 

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' On The Money: Trump makes a late pitch on the economy | US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop | Pelosi eyes big COVID-19 deal in lame duck Pelosi challenger calls delay on COVID-19 relief bill the 'privilege of politics' MORE (D-Calif.) said Congress is “very close” to a deal on additional funding for the small business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

"We're close. We have common ground," Pelosi said in an interview with ABC News set to air Sunday on "This Week.”

The PPP included in the $2.2 trillion stimulus package signed into law last month provided $350 billion in funding for loans to aid businesses impacted by the coronavirus if they commit to paying their employees.

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Pelosi's comments come as the program's coffers ran dry Thursday and the Senate adjourned without reaching an agreement on the terms of the fourth coronavirus relief package.

Congressional Democrats have been negotiating with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' On The Money: Trump makes a late pitch on the economy | US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop | Pelosi eyes big COVID-19 deal in lame duck Pelosi challenger calls delay on COVID-19 relief bill the 'privilege of politics' MORE about the amount of additional money that will go into the program in the next stimulus bill. 

The two parties have been at odds because Republicans want to pass a "clean" bill that would only include $250 billion in additional money for the PPP. Democrats want to add in another $100 billion for hospitals, $150 billion for states and a boost in food assistance funding in addition to money for small business loans. 

"I think we're very close to agreement," Pelosi told ABC News. 

On Friday, Senate Democrats called for the SBA to produce more complete data showing where funding was allocated as their skepticism grows about whether the money has been dispersed in an equitable way. 

"As Congress works to provide critical funding for these programs, we write to ask that you provide additional data and information about how loans and grants have been distributed," the senators said.

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At a White House briefing on Saturday, Trump called on Congress to replenish the small business relief fund saying that "funding is now fully drained. It's out. It's gone."

"Lawmakers must stop blocking these funds and replenish the program without delay," Trump said.

"The Democrats have to come on board. I used to read that these were Democrat programs, not Republican. Seems to have switched around a lot, hasn't it, huh? Switched around a lot. The Republicans want it. I think the Democrats probably do too, but they also want other things that are unacceptable."