As much as $380 billion from the U.S. Congress’ last big coronavirus aid package is unused and could help households and businesses if lawmakers approve, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday.
That is far short of the $500 billion to $1 trillion many economists had expected in new fiscal stimulus for the flagging recovery. But rising tensions between Republicans and Democrats have made a new relief package ahead of the Nov. 3 election look increasingly unlikely.
The unused money, authorized by Congress in March as part of a $2.3 trillion aid package but not yet spent, could go a long way to tide over businesses and keep people who have lost work from losing their homes.
“It would not cost an extra penny,” Mnuchin told members of the Senate Banking Committee in…