House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress is “very close” to striking a bipartisan deal to replenish funds in the small-business loan program that ran out of money this week and that the Democratic caucus backs her approach.
“We’re close. We have common ground,” Pelosi said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week” that will run in full on Sunday. “I think we’re very close to an agreement.”
House Republicans have scheduled an 8 p.m. conference call for Sunday to get an update from the their leaders on the status of negotiations on replenishing the tapped-out Paycheck Protection Program, according to multiple party officials.
Democratic members in the House hadn’t received any notice as of Saturday night on getting an update.
One Republican lawmaker familiar with the situation said there’s been no official whipping or vote counting on a possible deal. The call Sunday is being billed as catching members up on the status of talks, the lawmaker said.
House members on both sides of the aisle haven’t been told so far that they’ll be called to Washington next week to vote on any deal, if necessary.
One person in the Republican leadership ranks, though, said a vote could occur in the coming week.
Read more: Democrats Make Offer to Mnuchin in Effort to Break Aid Deadlock
Democratic insistence that the Congress does more simply “top up” the PPP funds stalled action on the measure last week as funds dwindled, drawing criticism from Republicans and President Donald Trump.
“Overwhelmingly, my caucus, and we’re working closely with the Senate Democrats, know that we have an opportunity, and an urgency, to do something for our hospitals, our teachers and firefighters and the rest, right now,” Pelosi said in a clip posted on ABC’s Twitter.
“And then we’re preparing for our next bill,” she said. “Businesses will have the money in a timely fashion.”
Congressional Democrats on Friday night outlined a new compromise offer to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a senior Democratic aide said on Saturday.
Terms of the offer included allocating an already-requested $150 billion in state and local funding based on need, but also designating additional money for cities, counties and towns, the senior aide said.
Key swing states including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin -- all won by Trump in 2016 -- would receive billions of dollars in new aid under the Democrats’ proposal.
© Copyright 2021 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.