White House offers $1.5 trillion aid plan

The US Treasury Secretary says there's been progress in talks with Democrats on a huge aid package.
The US Treasury Secretary says there's been progress in talks with Democrats on a huge aid package.

The Trump administration has proposed including a $20 billion extension in aid for the battered airline industry in a new stimulus proposal to House Democrats worth over $1.5 trillion.

House Democrats, who seeking $2.2 trillion to combat the effects of the coronavirus on the US economy, had been at loggerheads over the new measure with the White House, which had proposed legislation worth $1.5 trillion.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said on Wednesday the latest offer was generous but 2 trillion was too much.

"If it starts with a 2, it's going to be a real problem," he told reporters en route to Washington from Minnesota where US President Donald Trump headlined a rally.

Earlier US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had made progress in agreeing on relief to millions of Americans.

For her part, Pelosi avoided use of the term "progress."

"Secretary Mnuchin and I had an extensive conversation and we found areas where we are seeking further clarification. Our conversation will continue," the top Democrat in Congress said in a statement.

The House of Representatives had postponed a vote on the $2.2 trillion Democrat coronavirus plan to allow more time for a bipartisan deal to come together.

Australian Associated Press