Mnuchin denies trying to hinder incoming administration

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is denying that he is trying to limit the choices President-elect Joe Biden will have to promote an economic recovery by ending several emergency loan programs being run by the Federal Reserve. Mnuchin said Friday that his decision was based on the fact that the programs were not being heavily utilized and the money could be better used to grants for small businesses and extended unemployment assistance. However, critics saw politics at play in Mnuchin’s decision, saying the action would deprive the incoming administration of critical support the Fed might need to prop up the economy at a time when Coronavirus cases are surging again.

Trump makes late bid to lower prescription costs

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s administration is trying to close out major unfinished business on lowering prescription drug costs. Two regulations issued Friday promise savings for Medicare recipients. One would tie payments for drugs administered in a doctor’s office to lower prices paid abroad. The second would require that drugmaker rebates for pharmacy medications covered by Medicare go directly to patients. It’s hard to say whether the rules will stand with an incoming adminstration.

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