White House seeks deal this week with Democrats in Congress over coronavirus package

By Patricia Zengerle and Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON, Aug 4 (.) – White House negotiators promised to work “tirelessly” with Democrats in Congress to seek a deal on a new coronavirus aid package before the end of this week, as the pandemic it has a high cost in the lives of Americans.

After a meeting of the top four negotiators, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin raised the possibility of a deal by the end of the week that could clear the way for votes in the Senate and House of Representatives.

Mnuchin said the negotiators would now work “tirelessly” and that they set a timetable “so that the legislation can be passed next week” if a tentative agreement is reached.

But he warned that “we are not even going to come close” to the $ 3.4 trillion that Democrats have sought, although he did not provide further details. Two new negotiating sessions were expected on Wednesday.

“Do we believe we can get the kind of bold and strong law that the United States needs? We believe it,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer in his most optimistic assessment yet.

Since last week, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Schumer have met with Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to narrow the widening gaps that still exist.

At the meeting of the four negotiators on Capitol Hill, differences over unemployment benefits persisted for those who lost their jobs due to the epidemic, as well as liability protections for companies, a moratorium on home evictions and the financing of schools, state governments and premises and electoral security.

(Report by Patricia Zengerle, Edited in Spanish by Manuel Farías)