Mnuchin says an agreement with Congress on a coronavirus bill is close

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Friday the White House and Congress are nearing a deal on stimulus and that the administration is committed to doing whatever it takes to spark the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He did not provide specifics, though he mentioned previous statements from President Donald Trump advocating for a payroll tax holiday that could last through the end of the year.

“I think we’re very close to getting this done,” Mnuchin said in a “Squawk on the Street” interview. “The president is absolutely committed that this will be an entire government effort, that we will be working with the House and Senate.”

He also promised that the administration, working with the Federal Reserve, will take aggressive measures to make sure businesses have access to capital.

“There will be liquidity available,” Mnuchin said. “Whatever we need to do, whatever the Fed needs to do, whatever Congress needs to do, we will provide liquidity and this will be an entire whole-of-government approach led by the president.”

Mnuchin described the process as being “in the second inning” amid negotiations that have been contentious at times despite intense Wall Street clamoring for massive stimulus during the coronavirus scare.

However, he pledged that the administration is committed to whatever it takes to addressing the hit the nation has taken during the crisis. Wall Street’s longest bull market in history came to an end this week after 11 years, and there’s growing consensus that the global economy is headed for recession.

“I can assure you the president is determined. We will do whatever we need,” Mnuchin said.

Despite the frosty relationship between Trump and House Democrats, Mnuchin said the two sides are putting aside partisanship and working together for a solution.

Among the priorities he listed are the airline industry, which he described as being in a situation similar to the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. He also listed cruise lines, hotels and small business in general.

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