Schumer and Mnuchin inch closer to a deal on small business lending, increased aid for hospitals and states

Schumer and Mnuchin inch closer to a deal on small business lending, increased aid for hospitals and states
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Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Breaking down the June jobs report | The biggest threats facing the recovery | What will the next stimulus bill include? On The Money: Economy adds 4.8M jobs in June | Unemployment to average 6.1 percent through 2030: CBO | Mnuchin says no regrets on pushing to reopen Treasury approves 0 million loan to company being sued for overcharging Pentagon MORE appear to be inching closer to a deal to provide $250 billion in additional funding to a popular small-business lending program, which could run out of money as soon as Thursday, and tens of billions of dollars in more federal aid to hospitals and state budgets.

A spokesman for Schumer announced Wednesday morning that the Democratic leader and Mnuchin had another conversation earlier in the day and that “Democratic staff from both chambers will be meeting with Treasury” Department officials later in the day.

Some Senate Republican aides are expecting a deal between Schumer and Mnuchin by the time the Senate meets in a scheduled pro forma session on Thursday.

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National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow warned on Tuesday that the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program, a popular lending program designed to keep workers on payroll, could run out of money as soon as Thursday.

Senate Democrats are also expecting a deal soon.

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) told reporters on a conference call Tuesday: "I understand that a fair amount of progress has been made," referring to discussions between Schumer and Mnuchin.

"We may be seeing some packages pretty soon," he said.

Senate Republicans caution, however, that Mnuchin does not speak for the entire Senate GOP conference and that all 53 Republican senators would have to sign off on any deal for it to pass by unanimous consent during Thursday’s pro forma session.

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Schumer and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Breaking down the June jobs report | The biggest threats facing the recovery | What will the next stimulus bill include? Military bases should not be renamed, we must move forward in the spirit of reconciliation Pelosi: Trump 'himself is a hoax' MORE (D-Calif.) are betting that Republicans will fall into line if President TrumpDonald John Trump Trump responds to calls to tear down monuments with creation of 'National Garden' of statues Trump: Children are taught in school to 'hate their own country' Trump accuses those tearing down statues of wanting to 'overthrow the American Revolution' MORE endorses a deal between Democratic leaders and Mnuchin.

Trump last month blasted conservative Rep. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieMassie wins House GOP primary despite Trump call to be ousted from party Rep. Massie called out by primary opponent for previous display of Confederate flag House holds first-ever proxy votes during pandemic MORE (R-Ky.) as a “third rate Grandstander” when he attempted to force a House roll call vote on the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which passed 96-0 in the Senate.

Democrats want to pair the $250 billion in additional funding for the SBA program with at least $250 billion for hospitals and state and local budgets.

Schumer and Pelosi have called for an additional $100 billion for hospitals, $150 billion for state and local governments and a 15 percent funding increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for low-income families.

Democrats also want to set aside $60 billion of the small business funding program for women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses in underserved urban, rural and tribal communities.

Many businesses in underserved and lower-income communities have had difficulty obtaining forgivable loans backed by the federal government because of the lack of existing relationships with community banks and credit unions.

Updated at 11:33 a.m.