US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, in the White House on April 17, in Washington.
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
President Trump said he would back a deal in Congress that would couple money for hospitals with more emergency loans for small businesses, after days of deadlocked talks about whether to approve a clean influx of cash for the Paycheck Protection Program.
“Hospitals — hospitals have been decimated by this,” Trump said during the coronavirus task force briefing.
On adding payments to hospitals into a PPP boost – something Democrats have pushed, along with other items, to be included alongside money for small business loans – Trump said, “I’m with that all the way.”
“We could also add in to Phase four. Phase four would be hopefully infrastructure,” Trump said.
He was referring to the expected next stimulus bill, which Trump has pushed to include money for rebuilding roads and bridges.
Talks on Capitol Hill about adding more than $250 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, which ran out of funding this week after small businesses rushed to secure emergency loans through the Small Business Administration. Republicans have pushed for a clean funding boost, while Democrats have wanted money for hospitals, states and local governments to be included alongside the funding for the SBA program.
Trump also demanded Democrats return to Washington to approve the money, although House Republicans, and the Republican led Senate are also absent from Washington due to the pandemic.
He accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of being “on vacation.”
Lawmakers from both parties are following guidelines that suggest they shelter in place with their families in their homes around the country and both the House and Senate are holding pro-forma sessions where legislation can be passed by unanimous consent if all members agree.