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White House, Senate reach historic $2 trillion stimulus deal amid growing coronavirus fears

U.S. Capitol

White House and Senate leaders struck a major deal early Wednesday morning over a $2-trillion package to provide a jolt to an economy struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, capping days of marathon negotiations that produced one of the most expensive and far-reaching measures in the history of Congress.

“Ladies and gentleman, we are done,” White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland said right before 1 a.m. after leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office following negotiations that have gone around the clock since last Friday. “We have a deal.”

McConnell was preparing to take to the floor to announce that a deal had been reached on the proposal.

The full details have yet to be released. But over the last 24 hours, the elements of the proposal have come into sharper focus, with $250 billion set aside for direct payments to individuals and families, $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.

The package, if it passes Congress, would be the most significant legislative action taken to address the rapidly intensifying coronavirus crisis, which is overwhelming hospitals and grinding much of the economy to a halt.

The plan will deliver a massive infusion of financial aid into a struggling economy hard hit by job loss, with provisions to help impacted American workers and families as well as small businesses and major industries including airlines.

Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, called the package “the single largest main street assistance program in the history of the United States” at a White House briefing on Tuesday.

“This legislation is urgently needed to bolster the economy, provide cash injections and liquidity and stabilize financial markets to get us through a difficult and challenging period in the economy facing us right now,” Kudlow said.

After two consecutive days of high-profile setbacks — with Senate Democrats blocking procedural votes on Sunday and Monday over opposition to a bill initially crafted by Senate Republicans — a deal appeared to be imminent by Tuesday morning.

Top negotiators signaled that many of the issues had been resolved and suggested there could be action on a package later in the day.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer optimistically announced at one point that the Senate was at the two-yard line. But by Tuesday evening, no legislative text had been made public as negotiators continued their work.

Asked on Tuesday evening why negotiators appeared to be having such a hard time closing out the deal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has served as a point person for the administration in the talks, responded, “Who says we are having a hard time? It’s just a complicated deal. We go through a lot of language.”

“We are getting there,” he responded.

Democrats had argued they wanted to see more safeguards for American workers in the deal and oversight for how funding would be doled out. Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both signaled on Tuesday that they had won concessions in the emerging deal to that end.

Pelosi said in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on Tuesday that “many of the provisions in there have been greatly improved because of negotiation,” while Schumer said the legislation will have “unemployment insurance on steroids.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised the emerging deal as a win for Republicans as well, saying, “We are close to a bill that takes our bold Republican framework, integrates further ideas from both parties and delivers huge progress.”

Once a deal is released, the next question will be how quickly it can be approved by both chambers — a challenge made more daunting by the fact that Congress is now operating in a scenario where several of its members have tested positive for coronavirus while many more have self-quarantined after contact with infected individuals.

Pelosi suggested on Tuesday that she is hoping to avoid bringing the full House back to Washington to vote on the package, seeking to pass it through unanimous consent instead. But any individual member can block such a move, creating uncertainty over whether that will be feasible.

Another option may be for the House to approve the package by voice vote as opposed to holding a recorded roll call vote.

House Republicans are falling in line behind the Senate stimulus plan and are willing to allow quick passage of the plan, according to a source on the GOP whip team.

After conferring with the various factions of the House GOP Conference, the source said that it is a “possible outcome” for the House to voice vote the package when the chamber eventually considers it.

Pelosi has called for the bill to be approved by unanimous consent, but the GOP source said that “it’s a very real possibility” that a member would object, preventing that from happening.

Pelosi is also open to allowing the bill to pass by a voice vote, which would allow the presiding officer to rule in favor of the side that has the most voice votes.

However, members could request a recorded, roll call vote, which would require the full House to return to pass the bill, something lawmakers are eager to avoid amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus / News / Top Stories

CNN

Comments

27 Comments

  1. trump virus now a 2 TRILLION dollar “hoax”. This is the best the GOP can do. Pathetic. Where are the “tremendous deals” and the 5% growth? Hooker and a round of golf anyone!!!

  2. After trillions in tax cuts last two years that was all spent on bonuses and stock buybacks, the Corporate welfare system is alive and well! let’s give them another trillion, why not!

    1. What? You mean funds for the Kennedy Performing Arts Center and airline emission standards wasn’t important against the fight of COVID 19? How could it be? Classic pork move. Both sides do it but she has egg on face on that one big time.

  3. So the saner of the bunch who chimes in here at the Z must be asking themselves- “what in the world would make Nancy Pelosi think she could play games with this stimulus package- right smack dab in the middle of a pandemic that her party insists is the end of the world ?”

    Obviously the intellectually minded of us all would say clearly- that there must be no crisis- nobody in the world would delay “life-saving” throwing the life preserver to the drowning man- unless they’se seen him swim !

    So ya get up this morning- and you look at the data- and once again- you see that there is no “doubling of the death rate” here in the US- that the worst we are seeing is still isolated to the “at risk” population- who should have been under house arrest a month ago !

    Oh yeh- but what about Italy… OK- lets look… right now the US is slowly sneaking up on Italy’s total number of cases 69k-55k. Yet the total number of deaths is completely different. Italy 7,000 to the US- not even 800 !

    So let’s stop the hysterics with the comparisons to Italy- In the US it is still New York and Washington- sanctuary state know-it-alls that didn’t prepare properly after Obama lost 12,600 Americans to the H1N1 pandemic.

    1. This is no doubt in response to the flattening of the curve last week. ROTFLMAO!!!!!!

      Don’t be afraid sweetie!!! The trump virus is nothing compared to windmill cancer!!

      Golf and a hooker anyone!!!!

      1. Gee- the factual numbers keep scaring you into personal attacks- or is it the fact that every morning you wake up- rush to the internet to check the death toll- like a kid dashing for the packages on Christmas morning- only to find another lump of coal- another stick- nothing but a pair of socks !

        Must suck to be like you and Fester- all geeked up for a real catastrophe- only to have it peter out over the Atlantic somewhere.

        Buncha fear-mongering boobs ! “Hookers and Golf anyone”- Hell yeh !

    2. AAAAAaaaaaahahahahahahahaha….!!!!!
      .
      “Obviously the intellectually minded of us all”
      Dude, I spit IPA all over my monitor when I saw this!
      .
      You’re not supposed to tuck your ears inside your red maga clown hat, you look ridiculous.

    3. It’s really easy to look at two numbers. But most of America is extraordinarily bad at looking at data.

      We are 13 days behind Italy in confirmed deaths. Hopefully we do not continue to track their curve, though we have been doing so until now.

      Wanna see it?

      The left column is rounded total deaths by day in Italy. They hit 100 deaths 20 days ago.

      The right column is rounded total deaths by day in the US. We hit 100 deaths 7 days ago.

      I’ve aligned the day-by-day by total death count. Italy on the left, and what the US has seen so far on the right.

      It doesn’t mean that we’re definitely going to have this future, but it does strongly suggest vigilance is warranted.

      Hopefully this doesn’t format horribly.
      ———————————————–
      100 100 March 5 Italy, March 18 US
      140 150
      190 150
      200 200
      300 300
      400 400
      600 500
      800 800 March 12 Italy, March 25 US
      1000
      1200
      1400
      1800
      2100
      2500
      2900
      3400
      4000
      4800
      5400
      6000
      6800 March 25 Italy, April 7 US
      ———————————————–

      1. Italy has seen 7,500 deaths in 70,000 cases ! The US is just about to hit 70,000 cases and only 1000 fatalities- there is no comparison here.

        Your doomsday scenario is seriously flawed !

            1. I ask for a number, you tell me nothing. But I know you can see patterns, and you were really just stalling and hoping it didn’t continue to track Italy like I was worried it might.

              But it did. 1050 total US deaths today.

              What do you think it’s going to be tomorrow? This data says it will be around 1200. But I sincerely hope it doesn’t grow at all. I wouldn’t bet any money on that, but it would be very nice.

              You’re especially worried because the data is indicating 3500 confirmed deaths by April 3, which is the number of confirmed deaths by H1N1 under Obama.

              We should all work hard to prevent that from happening. For me, because I want the country back, and for you because you don’t want that worst-case scenario of Trump looking worse than Obama.

              I don’t want more deaths; I’m praying we stop tracking Italy. I said right there in my post the data doesn’t guarantee we’ll track in the future. But since we’ve been tracking for 9 days straight, you’d have to be really stupid to not at least take notice.

              Unlike a great many Trump supporters, I know that burying my head in the sand and ignoring data is a bad idea, and is unlikely to help. Far too many people just go with their guts, and human guts are really bad at things like this.

              There was one grave mistake we made in the US that we should never repeat: we utterly failed to test early and broadly. We waited and waited, and we’re still waiting. If we’d had broad testing, this would have largely blown over by now without the massive closures.

              I don’t like Donald “I didn’t do it” Trump in office, because he’s a narcissistic idiot that lets things like this happen as badly as they can possibly happen.

              But I don’t want people to die or the country to collapse just to get Republicans to see that and vote him out of office. I’m American first, for the People, before state, before party. I’m praying we stop following Italy’s curve. But the only confidence I have in Trump is that he hasn’t fired Fauci yet.

              “Leadership: Whatever happens, you’re responsible. If it doesn’t happen, you’re responsible.” –Donald J. Trump

  4. While everybody is all excited about the “free money” that might be coming to us (paid for many times over by our future taxes) but of real concern is what was attached to this bill that the media is not talking about?

    1. Ask barney why thoe are not included in the news articles. He tells me they just come in that way, and refuses to answer why znn won’t update any of them. Ok so znn doesn’t include the info…why doesnt znn21 do any research on the bills and ask questions of locals about them? They receive the info from znn…they print it as is…and refuse to talk about it

  5. Obama doubled the debt for the actions of government. Even the loathsome McCain warned of the Community Reinvestment Act. And again, the debt will be doubled again for the actions of government. So what does everyone demand? More government. It’s only meaningless digits on a computer screen now. I do hope the SJWs and socialist minded millenials enjoy paying this off when the bill comes due.

  6. I’m just here to drink all the sweet maga socialist tears now that the republicans have officially now spent 3.5 Trillion tax dollars without any plan to make any of them back. The 1.5 Trillion tax break for the rich and this bailout are both completely unfunded. Republican President, Republican Senate, Republican Supreme Court. You can’t blame anyone but yourselves. Anyone in the future that hears republicans complain about government spending adding to the deficit will now spontaneously burst into laughter. Tax and spend socialists. Enjoy your government checks, snowflakes.

    1. Wow- what a flip flop that was !

      “You can’t blame anyone but yourselves”

      Sure you can- you can blame Democant Governors who shut down their state economies over a seasonal virus !

      Cripes- one minute yer whinin’ about the damn Wuhan Chinese flu- the next minute yer bemoanin’ the financial package that will save the global economy.

      So which is it- you either accept the virus as is and let it run it’s course while people go back to work- or you support people sittin’ at home on their duffs for a month while government preps a stimulus package… ya can’t have both !

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