Trump, Congress hope to act on new aid bill next week

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FILE – In this March 18, 2020, file photo, the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol are seen in Washington, at sunrise. Congress is considering ways to govern from afar during the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers are talking this week about whether it’s possible to conduct virtual committee meetings, particularly to oversee how the $2.2 trillion stimulus money is being spent. And they’re considering ways to pass virus-related legislation without requiring every lawmaker to be present. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

WASHINGTON, DC (Associated Press) – Unable to strike a deal alone, the Trump administration and congressional leaders are poised to launch new bipartisan talks on a fresh coronavirus aid package with hopes for action as soon as next week.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer says he spoke Friday to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the Trump administration has agreed to pursue bipartisan negotiations on an interim bill to replenish a $350 billion “paycheck protection” program for businesses.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also spoke to Mnuchin and encouraged negotiations to break the logjam.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged this week talks will need to resume.

The developments come a day after Democrats stifled an attempt by McConnell to rush a $250 billion infusion into the new program.

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