WASHINGTON | Democrats on Monday presented Congress with a $ 2.2 trillion plan to help the US economy hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, taking more than $ 1 trillion from a first proposal in hopes of convincing Republicans after months of stagnation.
In a deeply divided Congress in the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary elections on November 3, the chances of reaching a deal have diminished significantly.
But Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump's Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appear poised for another round of negotiations.
The two spoke briefly Monday evening by phone after the presentation of the new Democratic text, and “agree to speak again tomorrow morning,” according to the Democrat's deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill.
This new plan “provides the resources absolutely necessary to protect lives, incomes and our democracy in the coming months,” Nancy Pelosi wrote to her parliamentary group, just before the call.
“It includes new funding to prevent disaster for schools, small businesses, restaurants, theaters, airline workers and others,” she said.
This plan “serves as a proposal for the Republicans to negotiate, in order to respond to the health and economic disaster in our country,” she stressed.
The Democrats had approved in May in the House, where they hold the majority, a first titanic version of this aid plan (” Heroes Act “) which amounted at the time to 3,400 billion dollars.
After advocating a “pause” in measures to support the economy in May, the Republicans began new negotiations this summer, but refused to pay more than $ 1,000 billion.
At the end of March, shortly after the sudden paralysis of the American economy, suddenly hit by the pandemic, Republicans and Democrats had almost unanimously adopted a historic plan of 2.2 trillion dollars.
It included funds for SMEs, a moratorium to prevent evictions and $ 600 a week aid for the unemployed, and was supplemented by $ 500 billion in new measures by the end of April.