White House officials and Democratic leaders remained at an impasse Monday over another coronavirus relief package, with aid for cash-strapped state and local governments emerging as the latest obstacle in negotiations.
Negotiators are trying to close the divide between the Senate Republicans' $1 trillion HEALS Act, which includes no new funding for states, and the House's $3.4 trillion HEROES Act, which allocates about $1 trillion in new funding for state and local governments.
The stalemate puts at risk potentially trillions of dollars in aid for families, businesses and the U.S. economy, including a fresh round of $1,200 stimulus checks, extra unemployment aid for millions of out-of-work Americans, $100 billion to help reopen schools and relief for cash-strapped state and local governments.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, one of the lead White House negotiators, called Democrats' request for $1 trillion for states "an absurd number," saying there's "plenty" of cash available already for the governments.
The $2.2 trillion CARES Act approved in late March allocated $150 billion for state and local governments.