US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday said Republicans will soon unveil a new spending bill to aid the coronavirus-battered economy amid an ongoing impasse with Democratic lawmakers.
The White House and Congress have been deadlocked for weeks over a successor to the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed as the pandemic struck in March, and key provisions of the law including extra jobless payments and aid to small businesses expired at the end of July.
President Donald Trump's administration has balked at proposals from Democrats, who in May passed a $3 trillion spending package in the House of Representatives but it stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate.
But Mnuchin has said the administration would prefer to spend somewhere closer to $1 trillion in the new bill.
He said Democratic leaders in the House and Senate "just don't want to negotiate in good faith."
"The president wants us to help with more money for kids and jobs, and we can put over another trillion dollars into the economy quickly," Mnuchin said in an interview with Fox Business Network.
The secretary said Republican Senate leaders will introduce a new bill next week that would be focused on children and employment and offer liability protection to businesses as the economy attempts to reopen. The Senate is on recess and is due back in session September 8.
The US economy has suffered a dramatic downturn since in mid-March when businesses nationwide were forced to close their doors to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which caused tens of millions of layoffs.
The CARES Act offered an extra $600 in weekly unemployment payments, but those expired at the end of July. It also created a system of loans and grants for small businesses to encourage them to continue paying wages.
The US is home to the world's worst coronavirus outbreak, and in a sign of the continuing distress, the Labor Department reported one million people made new claims for jobless benefits in the week ended August 22.