White House calls for interim coronavirus relief as negotiations continue

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General William Barr listens during a discussion with state attorneys general on social media abuses hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, U.S.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Sunday called on Congress to pass a coronavirus relief bill using leftover funds from the paycheck protection program as negotiations on a more comprehensive package continue.

In the letter to House and Senate members, Mnuchin and Meadows said the White House would continue to talk to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but that Congress should “immediately vote on a bill” that would enable the use of unused Paycheck Protection Program funds while working toward a bigger package.

“The all or nothing approach is an unacceptable response to the American people,” they wrote.

At least 20 Senate Republicans have said they were opposed to a $1.8 trillion offer from the White House to Pelosi on a compromise package.

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