Democrats and Republicans are getting closer to a deal on the massive stimulus package to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus.
“We expect to have an agreement tomorrow morning,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Monday night.
“There are still a few little differences. Neither of us think they are in any way going to get in the way of a final agreement,” he added.
The Senate GOP’s bill failed to clear a key procedural hurdle Monday after a similar result Sunday.
Schumer made the comments to reporters just before midnight, after meeting with Secretary Treasury Steven Mnuchin for a sixth time yesterday in Schumer’s office in the Capitol building.
“Secretary Mnuchin called the president,” Schumer said. “We told him we are very, very close to an agreement and he seemed very happy with that. And they all wanted to try get it done tomorrow. I think the American people want it done as quickly as possible.”
Schumer added that the Democrats “two main issues: workers first and a Marshall play for hospitals are very strongly in the bill.”
Schumer said Monday the two parties had already come to certain agreements about revisions to the Republicans’ bill, including adding more unemployment protections and giving more money to hospitals. He said the Democrats are “fighting hard and making progress” on more funding for state and local governments.
Democrats have also been seeking to add more oversight to the $500 billion bailout fund the Republicans have proposed setting aside to aid distressed businesses, largely as the discretion of Treasury. Politico, citing three sources, said Mnuchin had agreed to tough oversight of the fund.
The measure has a price tag of well over $1 trillion, and could potentially hit $2 trillion. It is intended to limit the economic pain from the coronavirus outbreak. The effort has taken on urgency as hospitals, workers, people, and companies have all pleaded they need cash quickly to cope with the crushing economic impact of the coronavirus.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.