On The Money: Mnuchin says GOP has 'fundamental' deal on $1T coronavirus relief package | Inside the GOP stimulus proposal | Weekly jobless claims rise to 1.4 million

On The Money: Mnuchin says GOP has 'fundamental' deal on $1T coronavirus relief package | Inside the GOP stimulus proposal | Weekly jobless claims rise to 1.4 million
© Greg Nash - Bonnie Cash

Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money on a very strange Opening Day for baseball. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.

Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @NJagoda and @NivElis.

ADVERTISEMENT

THE BIG DEAL — Mnuchin says GOP has 'fundamental' deal on $1T coronavirus relief package: The White House and Senate Republicans on Thursday reached a "fundamental agreement" on a coronavirus package, according to a top negotiator.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinWhite House officials, Democrats spar over legality, substance of executive orders Sunday shows - Trump coronavirus executive orders reverberate Pelosi: 'Of course there's room for compromise' on 0-per-week unemployment benefit MORE — after a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal MORE (R-Ky.) and White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsMeadows says he wants Trump nomination speech 'miles and miles away' from White House Pelosi: 'Of course there's room for compromise' on 0-per-week unemployment benefit Pelosi, Schumer slam Trump executive orders, call for GOP to come back to negotiating table MORE — said aides were now trying to finalize text of the agreement, which is expected to be released as a group of bills instead of one piece of legislation.

  • "We just had a very productive discussion with the leader. We do have a fundamental agreement between the White House and the Republicans in the Senate," Mnuchin told reporters.
  • "This obviously is complicated stuff. The teams worked late into last night. We're going to go back and review language this morning, whether it gets introduced today or not, we're still looking at the timing. But again, we have a fundamental agreement, we're just now going through language," he continued

The Hill’s Jordain Carney has more here.

What we know so far:

  • The proposal will mirror a March stimulus bill that included a one-time $1,200 stimulus check for Americans making up to $75,000 annually, according to Mnuchin.
  • The White House and Senate Republicans have agreed to provide $105 billion for schools, part of which will be tied to the schools holding in-person classes.
  • The measure won’t include the payroll tax cut fiercely supported by Trump. The president blamed Democratic opposition for its removal, but there were deep concerns about it among Republicans, too.
  • The Senate GOP’s staunch fiscal hawks are not happy about the size of the bill

What we don’t know: The joint White House-GOP proposal is just the starting point of talks toward a final deal with Democratic leaders. In others words, Republicans are spending this time trying to strike a deal among themselves before they can start working with Democrats on a final package. 

Democrats are pointing to the $3 trillion measure passed by the House in May as their opening offer and said that the emerging GOP plan “falls very short,” so it’s unclear when a viable bipartisan measure will emerge.

ADVERTISEMENT

Meanwhile, there are roughly 30 million Americans on some form of unemployment insurance, the $600 weekly boost to their benefits will expire by the weekend, and so will a federal foreclosure and eviction moratorium.

 

LEADING THE DAY

Weekly jobless claims rise to 1.4 million, first increase since March: New weekly claims for unemployment insurance rose for the first time since March last week as more than 1.4 million Americans applied for jobless benefits for the first time amid the second surge of coronavirus cases, according to the Department of Labor.

  • In the week ending July 18, seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits totaled 1,416,000. 
  • Another 975,000 people applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a program for those who don’t qualify for traditional jobless benefits, that week, bringing the total number of new weekly claims above 2.3 million.

The rise marks a troubling sign for the U.S. economy as another wave of novel coronavirus cases slows the nascent recovery from the downturn caused by the pandemic. After two months of net job gains in May and June that sunk the unemployment rate to 11.1 percent from 14.7 percent, that progress appears to be in danger of reversal.

"The combination of the resurgence of COVID-19, especially across the Sun Belt, bankruptcies, and secondary layoffs finally stopped the decline. Expect more forecasts for the third quarter expansion to be revised down, and expect everything from retail sales to consumer confidence to take a hit,” said Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union.

Read about more here.

 

Romney will oppose Trump Fed nominee who backed gold standard: Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyFrom a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters Tennessee primary battle turns nasty for Republicans NRCC poll finds McBath ahead of Handel in Georgia MORE (R-Utah) said Thursday he will vote against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE’s controversial nomination of Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve Board, impeding her path to confirmation.

“I'm not going to be endorsing Judy's Shelton's nomination to the Fed,” Romney, one of Trump's most vocal GOP critics, told reporters at the Capitol. “I will be voting against her."

More on that here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Surging coronavirus cases across the country are threatening to explode into new epicenters as the hard-won progress earned by months of painful lockdowns unravels into a summer of lost opportunity.
  • U.S. stocks broke a 4-day winning streak Thursday, as the cumulative COVID-19 infection count surpassed 4 million and the death toll from the disease ticked up.
  • Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday rolled out “a series of bills today that are part of Republicans’ agenda for economic growth and increasing American innovation in U.S. medicines and cures.”

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • The Trump administration’s nearly $2 billion investment in Pfizer and a smaller German biotechnology company for a coronavirus vaccine is raising eyebrows among lawmakers and drug pricing advocates.
  • Several Facebook employees say their concerns about potential racial bias in the automated account removal system for Instagram were ignored by superiors in 2019.
  • Twitter is considering building a subscription service as it explores other revenue sources amid a marked drop in advertising revenue spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.