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Mnuchin: $1 trillion is GOP starting point for coronavirus talks

Mnuchin: $1 trillion is GOP starting point for coronavirus talks
© Bloomberg/Pool

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Initial jobless claims rise for 2nd week | Dow dips below 30K | Mnuchin draws fire for COVID-19 relief move | Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges Mnuchin to put 5B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor's reach The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience MORE said on Monday that Republicans view $1 trillion as their starting point for the upcoming negotiations on coronavirus relief legislation.

"We're focused on starting with another trillion. We think that will make a big impact. The focus is ... really about kids and jobs and vaccines," Mnuchin told reporters at the White House. 

The GOP price tag is likely to creep up, as previous coronavirus bills have, but it underscores the significant differences awaiting negotiators as they try to craft a deal on a fifth relief package. 

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House Democrats passed a bill in late May, largely along party lines, that provided nearly $3 trillion in additional aid.

Some have estimated that the initial GOP offer could end up around $1.3 trillion, slightly higher than Mnuchin's estimate. But Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-Calif.) says that number is too low. 

“They went from zero to now $1.3 [trillion]. That’s not enough, we need more. But we see the public evolution of their thinking,” Pelosi told reporters late last week.

Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump holds his last turkey pardon ceremony Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names Trump administration revives talk of action on birthright citizenship MORE will come to the Capitol on Tuesday to brief Republican senators on the forthcoming GOP proposal after swapping ideas during the two-week break. 

“Mark and I will be meeting tomorrow with the Republicans at a lunch to give them a full briefing, and then we will also be reaching out to the Democrats to begin our discussions," Mnuchin said, adding that they were "committed" to getting a bill done by the end of the month.

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Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (D-N.Y.) told reporters on Friday that there had been no outreach from McConnell or Mnuchin about the next bill. Republicans will need Democratic votes to pass legislation through the Senate, and previous coronavirus packages have largely been negotiated between McConnell, Mnuchin and congressional Democratic leadership. 

Several areas of difference between the two parties remain, including additional funding for state and local governments, worker protections and additional food assistance. 

"We have not heard a peep from McConnell or the Republicans or the administration on any proposal," Schumer said.