Congress Closing in on almost $2 Trillion Virus Aid Package

Congress Closing in on almost $2 Trillion Virus Aid Package

Unanimous consent in the House on a Senate-passed bill would be the quickest way to send the measure to President Donald Trump to sign into law and get federal aid to the individuals, businesses and health care facilities affected by the global health crisis. "But my guess is that it'll probably be sometime tomorrow morning", Democratic Sen.

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The money at stake in the stimulus legislation amounts to more than what the US government spends on national defense, scientific research, highway construction and other discretionary programs.

While the two sides have resolved many issues in the sweeping package, some disagreements remain.

A Democratic aide familiar with the negotiations said that Democrats had secured a $600-a-week increase on top of current levels of unemployment benefits for four months. US jobless benefits vary by state, but now are up to $450 a week, below the poverty line for a family of four. Numerous industries are asking for help from the bill.

Also, the Treasury secretary would have to provide testimony to the board on transactions, and there would be restrictions on things like stock buybacks and chief executive pay at companies that received help.

"Some people have discussed loans, others have discussed grants".

Pelosi's bill also would make coronavirus treatment free for patients, and raise the direct cash payments to individuals to $1,500 each instead of $1,200 as in the Senate plan.

Wall Street bounced back on Tuesday from three-year lows on hopes the massive bipartisan stimulus would be announced.

It's not as strong as the House's alternative bill, Pelosi said, but marks a stark improvement over the Republicans' initial proposal - an indication she wants to move it quickly through Congress. That would lead to further delays and possibly require House members to return to Washington. If the House passes its own bill, the House and the Senate would have to go to conference. One moderate, Representative Stephanie Murphy, said the bill should contain only provisions directly related to the pandemic response.

The Democrats won a long list of victories in the $2 trillion package, including billions of dollars for hospitals, students, the unemployed and states struggling to finance the wave of emergency services.

On a piece of legislation this comprehensive, lawmakers would normally vote in person and cast a recorded up or down vote, but because of the situation, Democratic leaders have told members that they'd like to pass it by unanimous consent or voice vote.

But the coronavirus has given Democrats even more leverage. He and Mr. Schumer completed a round of late-night talks Monday predicting they could soon finalize an agreement, which Mr. Schumer said could run to $2 trillion.

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