New Virus Relief Deal Still in Limbo


Negotiations on a virus relief package are nearing a climax in Washington, with less than a month to go before election day. KHJ News Washington DC correspondent Matt Kaye has more.

The House and Senate were on standby to return on 24-hours notice, as Hill Democrats and the administration continued talks to break a stubborn logjam over key issues.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were working to close a $600-billion-gap, and differences over a child tax credit, aid to states and cities, and enhance jobless benefits.

Also key for American Samoa: $1200 stimulus checks, billions more for schools, a temporary shield from coronavirus lawsuits and more small business loans and grants.

Payroll Protection Program loans and grants have meant more than $12-million for American Samoa’s businesses, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, $10-million and Disaster Loan Advances, $1.2 million.

House Democrats last week, with 18 breaking ranks, passed a $2.2 trillion revised version of the HEROES Act passed in May that went nowhere in the Senate.

Deficit-conscious Senate Republicans wanted no more than $1-trillion, after failing to advance against Democrat objections, a $300-billion package.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lamented the stalemate in his chamber.

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The White House meantime, through Mnuchin,was offering about $1.6 trillion…and President Trump now fighting the coronavirus, himself, has tweeted strong support for a deal that could help him in his reelection fight.

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