September 17, 2021

FNC’s Wallace to Mnuchin: Won’t Millions ‘Pay the Price’ Because WH, GOP Can’t Get Its Act Together?

Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace questioned Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin on this week’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday” about the ongoing negotiations over the next coronavirus stimulus bill.

Wallace said, “House Democrats passed their relief bill back in May, fully two months ago, but here we are the last week in July, and the White House and Senate Republicans still can’t agree on just a GOP package. Meanwhile, a federal ban on evictions ran out yesterday, federal unemployment benefits run out on Friday in the last checks of already got out, and the Payroll Protection Program for businesses is running out early next month.”

He added, “Won’t millions of Americans, and millions of businesses, pay the price because the White House and Senate Republicans can’t get your act together?”

Mnuchin said, “Let me say, I think that’s an unfair characterization. The administration and the Senate Republicans are completely on the same page. Mark Meadows and I were up yesterday, just working on technical issues in the drafts. If we have previously agreed on all these issues earlier in the week. We want to move forward quickly. The bill will be introduced Monday, and we are prepared to act quickly. This is all about kids and jobs. This is our focus. We want to make sure something gets passed quickly so that we deal with the unemployment at all the other issues, paycheck protection plan, tax credits to rehire people, and money for schools.”

Wallace pressed, “But Mr. Secretary, the plan was supposed to be announced on Wednesday, then Thursday, now it’s next week. And it’s two months after the Democrats came up with their plan and now you’re going to have to start negotiating with Democrats now that you have a Republican plan.”

He added, “What are laid-off workers and what are struggling businesses supposed to do while you spend, as the White House chief of staff just said until sometime in August, negotiating with Democrats?”

Mnuchin said, “Let me first say we do have an entire plan, it’s a trillion dollars. Let me just remind everybody that of the $3 trillion we already past, we have about a trillion to a trillion and a half still left to put into the economy, so these are very, very large amount of money, working with Congress to support this.”

He added, “The most pressing issues are the fact that we have unemployment insurance running out. We need to make sure that we don’t have frivolous lawsuits for schools and universities. We want to make sure with the expiring unemployment insurance, we have the technical fix, so people don’t get paid more to stay home than they do to work, and we can move very quickly with the Democrats on these issues. We’ve moved quickly before, and I see no reason why we can move quickly again, and if there are issues that take longer, we will deal with those as well.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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