Talks Continue Over Coronavirus Financial Deal As Democrats Demand Changes

Clay Curtis
March 24, 2020

He said opponents are anxious the bill "would end up with (Treasury Secretary) Steve Mnuchin throwing money at certain favorite sectors like oil, hotels and ships".

A procedural vote to cut off debate on the measure, which needed 60 votes to pass, instead failed 49-46 on a straight party-line vote, with all Republicans who were present voting for it and all Democrats opposed.

Schumer said he thought the Senate could vote as soon as Tuesday, adding, "It's a huge bill of $2 trillion with many different moving parts".

Here is a cheat sheet of the proposals that have been floated by Republicans and Democrats as Congress is working out how to provide relief to banks and consumers during the national emergency. But Democrats countered that they had been left out of some negotiations and the GOP leadership was trying to rush through a bill that would have little chance in the Democrat-controlled House.

Republicans and Democrats remained at odds on agricultural assistance on Monday, according to people familiar with the matter.

"There are still a couple of open issues", Mnuchin said, just before midnight.

President Trump said Monday evening that he hoped lawmakers would make a breakthrough.

48 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in BC, 3 new deaths
She said people "can't let up" on social distancing, calling it the best way we have to "flatten the curve" of infection. As well, Henry said a total of 33 people remain hospitalized and 14 of those are in intensive-care units.

The administration launched a major push last week for action to blunt the economic impact from the pandemic, and an accompanying steep decline in the stock market, after Trump himself spent several weeks dismissing the virus' risks.

While details of the emerging bipartisan bill were not available, it is expected to provide financial aid for Americans out of work because of the virus and help for struggling industries such as airlines.

The Democrats' bill, which is more than 1,000 pages long, would prevent corporations from using taxpayer money for stock buybacks, boost unemployment insurance, strengthen the child and earned income tax credits and inject almost $40 billion into schools and universities to stabilize funding.

Democrats said provisions sought by Republicans would exclude nonprofit groups from receiving small-business aid, and extend a sexual abstinence-education program due to expire in May.

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, released her own version, which would add billions of dollars to help states conduct elections by mail.

Democrats are also asking for more money for hospitals and more generous unemployment benefits for laid-off workers - proposals that, if included, would balloon the cost of the package even more. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he is under quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 while Utah Sens. Mitt Romney and Mike Lee, both Republicans, were self-quarantining after close contact with Paul.

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