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Host Sean Hannity had blasted Senate Democrats earlier in the show for adding provisions funding PBS and the Kennedy Center in Washington. Hannity confronted Mnuchin about those provisions, saying their inclusion in the compromise legislation was “not a win-win [situation].”
“[W]e needed bipartisan support [and] there was a price to pay,” Mnuchin acknowledged, adding: “I agree with you that I would rather be sending that money to hospitals then sending that money to the Kennedy Center. Nothing against the Kennedy Center [but] this is about the coronavirus.”
When asked why it had taken so long for the White House and senators of both parties to reach a deal, Mnuchin was circumspect.
“There’s never a deal until it’s done,” he said. “We were negotiating through the whole period. We took out anything having to do with wind and environmental issues. The president got lots and lots of things out of the deal.”
The Senate bill would provide one-time direct payments to Americans of $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year, and $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child.
Gone are mentions of mandatory early voting, ballot harvesting, requirements that federal agencies review their usage of “minority banks,” and provisions curbing airlines’ carbon emissions — a demand by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that even Saikat Chakrabarti, the former chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and an author of the Green New Deal, called “ridiculous.”
Fox News’ Gregg Re and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.