Senate Democrats have reached a deal with the Trump White House and Senate Republicans on a massive $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that is targeting relief toward America’s workers, hospitals, industries, and state and local governments.
“At last, we have a deal,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said early Wednesday morning. “After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic.” McConnell added the Senate will vote on the bill later in the day.
Though the preceding days had been filled with tense negotiations that occasionally erupted into public shouting matches on the Senate floor, lawmakers worked relatively quickly for Congress as they responded to an unprecedented economic crisis caused by the pandemic. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and White House Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met six times on Monday alone, working until the early hours of the morning on Tuesday to hammer out a deal. In a statement, Schumer said he was pleased with the result.
“Rather than accept such a fundamentally flawed, partisan bill, Senate Democrats have been working hard on a bipartisan bill with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and President Trump,” Schumer said. “I am pleased to report that our hard work has paid off.”
The final product is so large in part because it contains both Republican and Democratic proposals: $500 billion in federal funding for big businesses and municipalities hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, as well as a direct one-time cash payment to Americans and four months of expanded unemployment insurance.
Schumer, the lead Democrat negotiating, appeared on the Senate floor early Tuesday afternoon to announce Democrats were closer to a deal after securing several key provisions, including expanded unemployment insurance for laid-off workers, and oversight on that $500 billion loan program for businesses.