Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday offered hope that Republicans and Democrats will approve a new appropriations package, saying he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed to avoid a shutdown. Both parties need to agree to a government funding bill by the end of the month to avoid a shutdown, which could be devastating as the country continues to grapple with the.
"Well I think the good news is the Speaker and I have agreed that neither one of us want a government shut down," Mnuchin said on the White House North Lawn driveway.
Mnuchin said he has spoken to Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy and President Trump, and he said all are prepared to move forward by the end of the week with a resolution that will fund the government through the end of December.
Mnuchin said Republicans are working on a more targeted bill focused on kids and jobs as their top priority, saving coronavirus matters for later.
"Our current plan is to keep the coronavirus discussion separate," he said. "So no, it'll be a skinny bill that doesn't address those issues. There may be one or two technical areas. areas like the State Department where certain fees are less than they are so but I don't really call that coronavirus related."
Pelosi said Sunday that leaving out coronavirus protections will be devastating for the millions of children facing food insecurity.
"We have in their significant funding for food insecurity," she said Sunday morning on MSNBC. "Millions of children in our country facing food insecurity. We have had it before. It's exasperated by the virus. We have funding in there to help people pay the rent, Republicans have zero funding for that. They have next to nothing for food security. But the fact is that right now, America's working families are concerned about sending the children to school."