A deal on a small business package could be announced as soon as Monday, President Donald Trump said at a White House press conference, though additional funding for coronavirus testing remains a key sticking point.
“I would like to begin by saying we are continuing to negotiate with the Democrats to get our great workers and small businesses all over the country taken care of. I think we are getting close to a deal. It could happen. It could happen. A lot of good work has been going on and we could have an answer tomorrow and we are going to see what exactly does take place,” Trump said Sunday evening.
The President also said that there will be additional aid in the package.
“We are also looking at helping our hospitals and our rural hospitals who have been hurt very badly. The rural hospitals for a long time have not been treated properly. We are looking to help them and beyond. So we are looking at hospitals also as part of the package,” Trump said, noting that he just got off the phone with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“I think you will have a nice answer tomorrow,” Trump said.
Three sources involved in the negotiations said that the details over how to spend billions over testing for Covid-19 remain unresolved in the talks over the massive relief bill under negotiation.
Democrats and Republicans have different visions over a testing policy, one of the sources said.
Trump has increasingly said that testing needs to be done by the states, while Democrats have called for a testing program led by the federal government.
As part of the deal to replenish the small business loan program, the two sides had agreed to $25 billion for testing.
But the details are more complicated to sort out.
It appears increasingly likely that talks will extend into Monday, but they are still negotiating Sunday night, the sources said.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer advised members Sunday night that the House could meet as soon as Wednesday morning to consider an expected deal to provide about $300 billion of additional money to the Paycheck Protection Program.
Mnuchin had said earlier Sunday he was hopeful that an agreement with Democratic congressional leaders could be reached Sunday to provide billions of dollars more to small businesses in a package stalled in Congress.