New White House offer adds $600 checks to COVID-19 relief

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WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The White House has decided to include $600 direct payments to most Americans in a COVID-19 package sent from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi Tuesday evening.

Mnuchin made the offer to Pelosi late Tuesday afternoon, he said in a statement. He offered few details, though House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said it proposes the $600 direct payment for individuals and $1,200 for couples, which is half the payment delivered by the March pandemic relief bill.

“Speaker Pelosi and I spoke today at 5pm, and on behalf of the President, I presented a $916 Billion proposal, which is a slightly larger package than the bipartisan proposal of $908 Billion,” Mnuchin said in a statement. “This proposal includes money for state and local governments and robust liability protections, schools and universities.”

According to Mnuchin, he and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows reviewed the plan with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement calling a cut in unemployment insurance from the previous bipartisan bill from $180 billion to $40 billion as “unacceptable.”

“While it is progress that Leader McConnell has signed off on a $916 billion offer that is based off of the bipartisan framework, the President’s proposal must not be allowed to obstruct the bipartisan Congressional talks that are underway. Members of the House and Senate have been engaged in good-faith negotiations and continue to make progress. The bipartisan talks are the best hope for a bipartisan solution,” Pelosi and Schumer said in the joint statement

“I look forward to achieving bipartisan agreement so we can provide this critical economic relief to American workers, families and businesses,” Mnuchin said in the statement.

They will fund part of the proposal with $140 billion in unused Paycheck Protection Program funds and $429 billion in Treasury funds.

This is a developing story.