Top Trump administration officials are calling on lawmakers to pass legislation to redirect unused funding from a small-business lifeline, the latest salvo in a week of twists and turns in talks between the White House and congressional leaders on a new round of coronavirus stimulus.



a man wearing a suit and tie: "He may. He may," Kudlow said of Mnuchin. "Secretary Mnuchin is up to $1.8 trillion. So, the bid and the offer is narrowing somewhat between the two sides."


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“He may. He may,” Kudlow said of Mnuchin. “Secretary Mnuchin is up to $1.8 trillion. So, the bid and the offer is narrowing somewhat between the two sides.”

“Now is the time for us to come together and immediately vote on a bill to allow us to spend the unused Paycheck Protection Program funds while we continue to work toward a comprehensive package,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote in a letter on Sunday to members of the House and Senate. “The all-or-nothing approach is an unacceptable response to the American people.”

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The letter follows a bevy of mixed signals from the administration over the past week — which included President Donald Trump abruptly breaking off stimulus talks, then reversing course and insisting on a variety of relief measures.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday rejected the latest $1.8 trillion stimulus offer from Mnuchin. Many Senate Republicans, meanwhile, have been wary of greenlighting yet another hefty relief package.

Meadows and Mnuchin reserved their criticism for the Democratic-led House for passing two massive relief bills largely along party lines “instead of compromising with us on bipartisan legislation like we have done in the past.”

“We will continue to try to work with Speaker Pelosi and Senator [Chuck] Schumer,” the pair wrote. “It is not just about the top-line number but also about legislation that can be passed by both the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Trump to

Credit…Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, spoke Wednesday about the prospects of a stand-alone bill for airline relief, as President Trump continued to walk back his own retreat from negotiations on a broader coronavirus relief package and to push for more narrow legislation.

During a conversation in the morning, Mr. Mnuchin asked about the possibility of a stand-alone bill, as a critical payroll program for airline workers lapsed last week and airlines have warned of tens of thousands of more furloughs and layoffs without federal intervention.

Ms. Pelosi noted that Democrats had already thrown their support behind such a measure and reminded Mr. Mnuchin that Republicans had objected to unanimous passage of such a bill in the House on Friday, a spokesman for Ms. Pelosi said. She asked Mr. Mnuchin to review the legislation, championed by Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee.

A Treasury spokeswoman confirmed that the call took place but would not say what was discussed.

The two talked again for about 20 minutes on Wednesday evening and agreed to talk again on Thursday, according to Drew Hammill, the speaker’s deputy chief of staff.

Since approving nearly $3 trillion in economic relief this spring, Congress and the White House have failed to reach agreement on another package, despite warnings from economists, including the Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell, that follow-up aid is needed to maintain the country’s economic recovery.

“A long period of unnecessarily slow progress could continue to exacerbate existing disparities in our economy,” Mr. Powell said