Steven Mnuchin says administration and Democrats are ‘close to a deal today’ on small business program

“I think we’re very close to a deal today. I’m hopeful that we can get that done,” Mnuchin told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” Mnuchin told Tapper he is hopeful that if a deal is reached, the Senate could pass the bill on Monday and the House could pass one Tuesday.

The funding is needed to continue the Payroll Protection Program, a program for small businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis that ran out of funding last week. Congressional Democrats also said Sunday the parties were nearing an agreement.

Mnuchin said that there will be money for testing, hospitals and small businesses in the new bill, but at this point there will not be money for state and local governments. He said that the deal would allocate $300 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $50 billion appropriated for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion to invest in testing.

“I’m hopeful that we can reach an agreement that the Senate can pass this tomorrow, and that the House can take it up on Tuesday. Wednesday, we would be back up and running,” he said.

Mnuchin said that he’s had “constant discussions” with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, President Donald Trump and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who are “all on board with the same plan.”

On Thursday, the Small Business Administration officially ran out of money for the PPP, its $349 billion emergency lending program for small businesses.

Negotiations have been ongoing since then to inject more money into the program, but a key sticking point has been Democrats’ demand for another $150 billion to state and local governments.

“The President has heard from the governors and he’s prepared to discuss that in the next bill,” Mnuchin told CNN. “Right now, we have a lot of money that we’re distributing to the states.”

On the same program Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told Tapper that “we’ve made very good progress” in funding talks.

He said he was hopeful that Democrats, Republicans and the administration could come to an agreement Sunday night or early Monday morning. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added Sunday that the negotiators “have common ground.”

“Yes, we’re close. Again, we have common ground,” Pelosi said on ABC News’ “This Week,” adding, “I think we’re very close to agreement.”

This story is has been updated with additional developments Sunday.

CNN’s Manu Raju, Nicky Robertson and Lauren Fox contributed to this report.

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