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Mnuchin says he offered Pelosi $916B coronavirus relief deal with Trump's approval

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinPence delivers coronavirus task force report to Biden Treasury imposes additional sanctions on Cuba over allegations of 'serious human rights abuse' Treasury Department sanctions inner circle of Russian agent Derkach for election interference MORE said Tuesday that he offered Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus Calls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack Do Democrats really want unity? MORE (D-Calif.) a $916 billion coronavirus relief deal as both parties race to strike a deal before the end of 2020.

In a statement, Mnuchin said he pitched Pelosi Tuesday afternoon on a deal backed by President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE and marginally more expensive than the $908 billion bipartisan package the Speaker endorsed with Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCapitol insurrection fallout: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? Schumer calls for DOJ watchdog to probe alleged Trump effort to oust acting AG Student loan forgiveness would be windfall for dentists, doctors and lawyers MORE (D-N.Y.).

“I look forward to achieving this bipartisan agreement so we can provide critical economic relief to American workers, families and businesses,” Mnuchin said. 

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But Pelosi and Schumer pushed back on the offer in a joint statement, saying it impeded the progress of bipartisan negotiations and cut support for unemployment benefits to an "unacceptable" level.

Mnuchin said the White House proposal includes support for state and local businesses — a top Democratic priority — and liability protections for businesses Republicans have insisted on including in a deal.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse GOP leader says he has 'concerns' over Cheney's impeachment vote McCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Cheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency MORE (R-Calif.) told reporters at the Capitol that the offer also included direct payments to households, expanded aid to small businesses and funding for vaccine distribution.

"It focuses on the things that needs to be there," McCarthy said. "I don't see a reason why Pelosi should be opposed to it."

Mnuchin said that the deal would be funded through $140 billion in unused funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and $429 billion from the Treasury, which is roughly equivalent to the total set to be pulled from Federal Reserve lending facilities per Mnuchin’s request.

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Mnuchin said he also reviewed the proposal with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden leans on Obama-era appointees on climate Kentucky Republican committee rejects resolution urging McConnell to condemn Trump impeachment Calls grow for 9/11-style panel to probe Capitol attack MORE (R-Ky.). 

The White House offer comes as lawmakers and the administration face a Dec. 31 deadline to extend crucial coronavirus relief programs and an ever earlier deadline to fund the government.

Trump and congressional leaders in both parties all agree that another round of economic aid is essential to support the U.S. economy through what could be the most excruciating stage of the pandemic. 

Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths have shattered records throughout the country over the past two months and are expected to climb higher thanks to holiday travel and colder weather.

The price tag of Trump’s proposal will be little concern for House Democrats, who passed another $3 trillion aid package over the summer, though cost alone is not enough to win the support of the party. Democrats have insisted that a deal include substantial support for state and local governments as well as funding for unemployment insurance and coronavirus testing.

McConnell and many Senate Republicans have also been wary to vote for a bill larger than the $500 billion measure the majority has proposed, but several GOP senators have pushed their colleagues to accept a more expensive package in lieu of no agreement at all.

--Updated at 8:19 p.m.