Trump vows to back Covid stimulus package if deal reached and says 'they're getting very close'

DONALD Trump vowed to back a coronavirus stimulus package if Congress members can reach a deal, which he believes “they’re getting very close” to.

“I want it to happen, and I believe they’re getting very close to a deal,” Trump said in the Oval Office on Thursday, while award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former college football coach Lou Holtz.

When asked by a reporter if he’ll support a deal, Trump replied, “I will. I will. Absolutely."

On Tuesday, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell claimed that after several conversation with White House officials, President Trump was “ready to sign” the next stimulus package after putting forward another proposal.

Secretary of Treasure Steve Mnuchin confirmed McConnell's remarks, saying, "The president will sign the McConnell proposal he put forward yesterday, and we look forward to making progress on that."

Reuters reported that McConnell's outline is very close to the legislation that the Senate leader has been proposing for months, which was rejected by Democrats.

For months, the Senate Leader has been proposing a "more modest" relief bill in the $500billion range.

According to the outlet, the plan includes $332.7billion in new loans or grants to small businesses, however no mention of another round of $1,200 stimulus checks.

Aside from McConnell's latest proposal, new $908billion bipartisan proposal was unveiled Tuesday by Democrats and Republicans.

The relief package includes $288billion in small business aid, $160billion in state and local government relief and $180billion to fund a $300 per week supplemental unemployment benefit through March.

According to a draft framework, the package would also put $16billion into vaccine distribution, testing and contact tracing, allocate $82billion into education, put $45billion into transportation and funnel funds for rental assistance, child care and broadband.

However, the major takeaway from this proposal is that it does not include another stimulus check.

The glimmer of hope for a second stimulus package comes after President Trump reportedly "gave his blessing" for a new stimulus deal.

Trump reportedly told Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to work with the Senate to get a new relief bill done.

On Tuesday, McConnell said he was going to drop his new stimulus offer, which he hoped the president would potentially sign that afternoon.

"We don't have time for messaging games. We need to get a presidential signature," McConnell said.

Senator Chuck Schumer cast doubt on the proposal's future, saying the Senate leader had not sought support from Democrats.

"The obvious fact of the matter is the biggest impediment to getting an agreement is the Republican leader refusing to negotiate in a bipartisan way,” Schumer told reporters on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Schumer urged McConnell to use the bipartisan proposal as the basis for relief talks.

"In the spirit of compromise we believe the bipartisan framework introduced by Senators yesterday should be used as the basis for immediate bipartisan, bicameral negotiations," Schumer and Pelosi said.

However, the top Republican quickly shot down the bipartisan plan after it was released on Tuesday, and endorsed his coronavirus relief bill.

As President Trump and Congress members continue to push for a new stimulus package before the end of the year, Joe Biden has also repeatedly pushed for an "immediate relief".

After announcing his economic team on Monday, the president-elect delivered hopeful remarks regarding another relief bill, saying his team "will deliver immediate economic relief for the American people".

“This team is comprised of respected and tested groundbreaking public servants who will help the communities hardest hit by COVID-19 and address the structural inequities in our economy,” Biden said.

Plans for a second coronavirus relief package have also been backed by a group of more than 100 economists, who've called the $1,200 stimulus check "essential".

The major issues that come in the way of an agreement have to do with education funding, money allocated toward state and local government, coronavirus testing and unemployment benefits.

All of the most significant stimulus programs featured in the CARES Act are set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020.

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