WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The two top Republicans in the U.S. Congress on Saturday said they would continue to oppose Democrats’ demands to include funding for items other than small business relief in a proposed coronavirus aid bill.

The statement from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House of Representatives Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy came a day after the top Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer, said he and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin planned to hold bipartisan talks on the bill next week.

Senate Republicans on Thursday failed to ram through a $250 billion increase in loans for small businesses suffering due to the outbreak. Democrats support the $250 billion in new funding but want to set aside some of the lending for community and minority-owned banks.

Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Scott Malone and Bernadette Baum

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