On Wednesday the White House and Senate leaders struck a deal on the historic $2 trillion coronavirus relief package for businesses and workers.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are done,” White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland told reporters as he left Mitch McConnell’s office. “We have a deal.”
“Much of the work on bill text has been completed, and I’m hopeful over the next few hours we’ll finish what’s left and we will circulate it early in the morning,” Ueland continued.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also spoke briefly to reporters. He referred to the bill as “unemployment compensation on steroids.” He stated that every American that has been laid off will have their missed salary remunerated.
The rescue package will give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses so they can meet payroll while their employees are forced to stay at home.
One of the biggest issues holding up approval of the stimulus plan was an internal fight over how generous to be to airlines because Democrats wanted to abide by new carbon emission guidelines.
Hospitals will get significant help with this stimulus plan.
Schumer penned a letter to his colleagues in which he wrote, “Democrats are ready to give our unanimous consent to speed up the consideration of the bill and get the job done.“
Mitch McConnell said the Senate will meet at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, but did not say exactly what time a vote will take place, but it is expected to happen around 1 p.m.
“Democrats are finally taking ‘yes’ for an answer,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Wednesday morning. “Help is on the way.”
“After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic,” McConnell continued. “It will rush new resources onto the front lines of our nation’s health care fight. And it will inject trillions of dollars of cash into the economy as fast as possible to help Americans workers, families, small businesses and industries make it through this disruption and emerge on the other side ready to soar.”
“This is a very important bipartisan piece of legislation that is going to be very important to help American workers, American business and people across America. So, we couldn’t be more pleased. I’ve spoken to the president, many times today, and he’s very pleased with this legislation, and the impact that this is going to have,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said from the Senate floor.
Mnuchin then added, “I can’t speak for the Speaker. I hope she takes it up and she passes as-is. We need, we need this to get working for the American people. And, again, there are a lot of compromises. It’s a terrific bill, and it was a great accomplishment on everyone.”
Rep. Justin Amash signaled that he might delay consideration of the bill in the House.
“This bipartisan deal is a raw deal for the people,” Amash tweeted. “It does far too little for those who need the most help while providing hundreds of billions in corporate welfare, massively growing government, inhibiting economic adaptation, and widening the gap between the rich and the poor.”
The exact amounts that Americans will receive through the stimulus plan have not yet been revealed.