House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled on Saturday that Congress is “very close” to striking a bipartisan deal on an interim emergency relief package to replenish the depleted funds in the small business loan program.
The roughly $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program ran out of funds late last week, leaving thousands of small business owners in limbo.
“We’re close. We have common ground,” Pelosi said in an interview with ABC News’ Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos set to air Sunday on “This Week.”
“I think we’re very close to agreement,” Pelosi added.
Congressional leaders are currently negotiating with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to get past a standoff on funding for the small business loan program. A vote in the Senate failed earlier this month over a dispute on the size and scope of the legislation.
Republicans want to boost the small business loan program with an additional $251 billion. Democrats are pushing for nearly half a trillion dollars for the emergency relief package, with funds going toward the small business loan program, local and state governments, hospitals and an increase in food benefits.
Pelosi’s indication that a bipartisan deal is on the horizon comes after President Donald Trump bashed the speaker in a series of tweets over the last several days.
During a White House briefing on Saturday, Trump called on lawmakers to replenish the small business relief fund saying that “funding is now fully drained. It’s out. It’s gone.”
“Lawmakers must stop blocking these funds and replenish the program without delay,” Trump said. “The Democrats have to come on board. I used to read that these were Democrat programs, not Republican. Seems to have switched around a lot, hasn’t it, huh? Switched around a lot. The Republicans want it. I think the Democrats probably do too, but they also want other things that are unacceptable.”
The full interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi airs Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Check local listings.