Coronavirus Aid Talks on Brink of Collapse, Sides Still ‘Far Apart’

Us Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington talks on vital COVID-19 rescue money are teetering on the brink of collapse after a marathon meeting in the Capitol generated lots of recriminations but little progress on the top issues confronting negotiators.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says: “There’s a handful of very big issues that we are still very far apart” on.

Mnuchin says there are impasses on aid to states and local governments and renewing supplemental unemployment benefits.

A breakdown in the talks would put at risk more than $100 billion to help reopen schools, a fresh round of $1,200 direct payments to most people, and hundreds of billions of dollars for state and local governments to help them avoid furloughing workers and cutting services as tax revenues shrivel.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says: “We’re very far apart. It’s most unfortunate.”

No meeting is scheduled so far for Friday, an informal deadline to reach the broad outlines of an agreement.

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