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Discussions continue in Congress on the Covid-19 packageLeading Congressional Democrats and White House officials will try again on Thursday to find a compromise on another coronavirus aid package, with negotiators imposing a Friday deadline for talks.

Reports suggest a deal has been reached, but the two sides are left with trillions of dollars apart on major issues, including the amount of additional unemployment benefits.

“We are trying to make a deal that is good for the American public and American workers,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on Wednesday after nearly two hours of discussions.

“Our goal is to try to come to an understanding of the main issues by Friday. If we cannot come to an agreement on the main issues, it will be difficult to reach an agreement. ”

Congress passed more than $ 3 trillion (£ 2.8 trillion) in aid earlier this year, but lawmakers last week missed a deadline to extend the $ 600 (£ 456) a week into improved unemployment benefits which have played a key role in supporting the economy.

Democratic leaders pushed for a more comprehensive aid package for the unemployed, the poor, hospitals, schools, and state and local governments.

Mr Mnuchin has warned that the Trump administration will not accept “anything close” to the new help Democrats are seeking, while some Republicans in the Senate have rejected their own party’s proposals.

President Trump on Wednesday vowed to use executive powers to enforce deportation bans and other forms of relief for unemployed Americans. if both parties cannot come to an agreement.

Additional reports by Reuters


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