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Politics Senate, White House reach $2 trillion stimulus deal to blunt coronavirus fallout

07:50  25 march  2020
07:50  25 march  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Schumer 'confident' stimulus coronavirus deal will be reached Monday

  Schumer 'confident' stimulus coronavirus deal will be reached Monday Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Monday that congressional leaders and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would reach a deal on a massive coronavirus stimulus package later in the day. © Bonnie Cash Schumer 'confident' stimulus coronavirus deal will be reached Monday "We're very close to reaching a deal, very close, and our goal is to reach a deal today, and we're hopeful, even confident that we will meet that goal," Schumer said from the Senate floor. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

White House agrees to allow oversight of huge coronavirus loan program as $ 2 trillion Senate deal nears. Schumer, Pelosi, Mnuchin voice optimism The White House has agreed to allow enhanced scrutiny over a massive loan program that is a centerpiece of the Senate ’s $ 2 trillion coronavirus

BREAKING: Deal reached on $ 2 trillion coronavirus stimulus plan to help workers, businesses. WASHINGTON — The White House and Senate leaders reached an agreement early Wednesday morning on a massive $ 2 trillion coronavirus spending bill aimed at alleviating the economic impact

Senate leaders and the Trump administration reached agreement early Wednesday on a $2 trillion stimulus package to rescue the economy from the coronavirus assault, potentially setting the stage for swift passage of the massive legislation through both chambers of Congress.

“We have a deal,” White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland told reporters around 1 a.m.

Senate's coronavirus package would be worth more than $2 trillion - White House adviser

  Senate's coronavirus package would be worth more than $2 trillion - White House adviser The coronavirus stimulus package being negotiated by the U.S. Senate would be worth more than $2 trillion, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday morning a deal on an economic Democrats argued the Senate bill favored businesses over workers and pushed for more protections for Trump says White House considering easing coronavirus restrictions. Even as the number of

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A far- reaching coronavirus economic stimulus package remained stalled in the U.S. Senate on Monday as lawmakers haggled Congress has already passed two packages of legislation to blunt the economic toll of the pandemic, which has killed more than 550 people in the

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) were expected to discuss the breakthrough on the Senate floor after a long day of talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Euland and others.

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The agreement capped five straight days of intensive negotiations that occasionally descended into partisan warfare as the nation’s economy reeled from the deadly pandemic, with schools and businesses closed, mass layoffs slamming the workforce, and tens of thousands falling ill. 

The legislation, unprecedented in its size and scope, aims to flood the economy with capital by sending $1,200 checks to many Americans, creating a $367 billion loan program for small businesses, and setting up a $500 billion fund for industries, cities and states.

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  FBI issues warning for COVID-19 stimulus package scams Thieves online could be taking advantage of the US's $2 trillion stimulus package, the agency warned.On Wednesday, the US Senate passed a $2 trillion aid package to financially support people affected by the coronavirus outbreak. With businesses temporarily closing and a record 3.3 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits because of the pandemic, the stimulus deal is intended to help boost the US economy.

The U.S. Senate could pass a $ 2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus package as soon as Tuesday, negotiators said, insisting they FILE PHOTO: White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin walk to a meeting during negotiations on

Congress close to reaching deal on $ 2 trillion coronavirus aid package. Wall Street has been anxious for a large-scale spending package to complement the Federal Reserve’s aggressive efforts to blunt the economic effects of the pandemic, which has sparked fears about a deep recession.

Other provisions include a massive boost to unemployment insurance, $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds and $130 billion for hospitals, among numerous other provisions.

Tuesday began with all parties predicting a deal would be imminent, along with a vote by Tuesday evening. But as the hours dragged on multiple disputes arose and legislative language required close review.

Finally, as midnight neared Tuesday, the pace of shuttle diplomacy picked up on the second floor of the Capitol, as Mnuchin, Ueland and newly named White House chief of staff Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) met alternately with McConnell and Schumer, who was in frequent contact with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The package would extend extraordinary taxpayer assistance to potentially millions of American and companies that have been hammered by the fast-moving economic crisis. The bill is being rushed through Congress without public hearings or formal review, and it’s unclear how effective the measures would be in arresting the economy’s sudden fall.

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  McConnell says Republicans 'getting close' to a GOP deal on $1 trillion stimulus ahead of talks with Democrats Senate Republicans are racing to reach a GOP deal on a massive $1 trillion economic stimulus as the coronavirus crisis intensifies, despite facing criticism from Democrats who warn that efforts to swiftly pass a stimulus could be derailed if they are not included in negotiations now. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks to the Senate floor for the start of impeachment trial proceedings at the U.S. Capitol on January 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Senate impeachment trial of U.S.

Senate leaders and White House economic officials had huddled all weekend in search of an agreement, but the sides remained far apart on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Addison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell Coronavirus stimulus talks roll into Monday as negotiators fail to clinch

House Democrats unveiled economic stimulus legislation in response to the coronavirus pandemic that differs from a Senate bill. House Democrats introduce a $ 2 .5 trillion coronavirus stimulus plan as Senate bill stalls. Published Mon, Mar 23 20201:45 PM EDTUpdated 5 hours ago.

The stock market rose sharply Tuesday in anticipation of the deal, with the Dow Jones industrial average surging more than 2,100 points, or 11.4 percent. The government is dealing with a number of competing pressures, though, as President Trump declared that he’d like much of the country to be up and running by April 12 even though the number of people testing positive for the novel virus in the U.S. continues to climb.

The Senate bill would direct payments of $1,200 to most American adults and $500 to most children, create a $500 billion lending program for companies, states, and cities, and extend an additional $367 billion to help small companies deal with payroll problems. It would bolster the unemployment insurance system and pump $150 billion into U.S. hospitals. The bill more than doubled in size in just a few days.

White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow called it the “single largest Main Street assistance program in the history of the United States.”

The delay in finalizing a deal came, in part, because aides launched a painstaking scrub of the bill’s text, to make sure that one of the most ambitious pieces of legislation ever attempted by Congress — thrown together in little over a week — actually said what lawmakers wanted it to say.

Pelosi says House will review Senate coronavirus stimulus package

  Pelosi says House will review Senate coronavirus stimulus package House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday praised the Senate's sweeping, $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, but declined to say how the House would pass it."This bipartisan legislation takes us a long way down the road in meeting the needs of the American people," Pelosi said in a statement.She said the package did not go as far as a separate House bill but argued that "thanks to the unity and insistence of Senate and House Democrats, the bill has moved a great deal closer to America's workers."Pelosi said Wednesday that House Democrats will evaluate the package before deciding next steps.

Senate Democrats block action on a trillion-dollar stimulus plan. Senate Democrats on Sunday blocked action on an emerging deal to prop up an economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, paralyzing the progress of a nearly $ 2 trillion government rescue package they said failed to

deal to be reached soon on a far- reaching coronavirus economic stimulus package that had been stalled in the U.S. Senate as lawmakers haggled over it. The administration launched a major push last week for action to blunt the economic impact from the pandemic, and an accompanying steep

Senate Republicans were being extra meticulous because they felt an earlier and much smaller coronavirus relief bill, which Mnuchin negotiated in a rush with Pelosi earlier this month, turned out to have provisions related to paid sick leave that GOP senators opposed – but which they reluctantly accepted. Now, they wanted to double- and triple-check Mnuchin’s work in brokering a deal with Schumer given the enormous stakes.

As lawmakers neared a deal, the White House made a significant concession to Democrats’ demands, agreeing to allow enhanced scrutiny over the massive loan program that is a centerpiece of the Senate’s $2 trillion coronavirus economic package.

This pertains to the $500 billion loan and loan guarantee program that the Treasury Department would be tasked with administering for companies, states, and cities. Of that amount, $425 billion is supposed to go to businesses, cities and states. An additional $50 billion would go to passenger airlines, as well as $8 billion for cargo airlines, and $17 billion for firms that are deemed important to national security.

Steven Mnuchin et al. standing next to a person in a suit and tie: WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (L) speaks to members of the media as White House Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Ueland listens at the U.S. Capitol March 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. Secretary Mnuchin is on Capitol Hill to work with the Senate to finalize the coronavirus stimulus bill in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) © Alex Wong/AFP/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (L) speaks to members of the media as White House Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Ueland listens at the U.S. Capitol March 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. Secretary Mnuchin is on Capitol Hill to work with the Senate to finalize the coronavirus stimulus bill in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Trump has already said he wants some of the money to go to the cruise ship industry, and he also wants assistance for hotels. When he was asked Monday evening who would perform oversight of the program, Trump responded, “I’ll be the oversight.”

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  Bonanza for Rich Real Estate Investors, Tucked Into Stimulus Package Senate Republicans inserted an easy-to-overlook provision into the bill that will make the wealthy very happy.It also includes a potential bonanza for America’s richest real estate investors.

But during closed-door negotiations on Capitol Hill, White House officials agreed to allow an independent inspector general and an oversight board to scrutinize the lending decisions, senators said.

The most recent precedent for this is the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program that was created during the 2008 financial crisis. To oversee TARP, Congress created an independent inspector general, a regulatory oversight board and a congressional oversight panel. Over the course of several years, investigations uncovered numerous cases of fraud at large and small companies as firms sought to obtain taxpayer money through various programs.

Democrats welcomed the development.

“We got better oversight, better oversight,” Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) said as he left a morning meeting with Schumer. “The oversight basically is saying that you know you can’t just ... exempt everybody and give all your corporate executives, based on the backs of the taxpayers, free carnival.”

Manchin has been critical of the bill being weighted more toward Wall Street than average America. Trump took a shot at the lawmaker when asked about his criticism during an interview Tuesday on Fox News.

“Does Joe Manchin want all of these, or many of these companies to go out of business? We’ll have an unemployment rate the likes of which nobody’s ever seen before,” Trump said. "We have to save these companies. These are companies that weren’t in trouble three weeks ago, and now they’re in trouble because of what happened. These are great companies, they’re in some cases triple A companies.”

McConnell says Senate will pass House coronavirus bill without changes

  McConnell says Senate will pass House coronavirus bill without changes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday the upper chamber will pass the House's second coronavirus funding package without changes.The decision comes despite some vocal GOP opposition to the measure over concerns about its impact on small businesses. "My counsel is to gag and vote for it anyway," McConnell said. The House bill provides up to 10 days of paid leave for some workers and bolsters unemployment insurance. TheThe decision comes despite some vocal GOP opposition to the measure over concerns about its impact on small businesses.

On Twitter Tuesday morning, Trump called on Congress to “approve the deal, without all of the nonsense, today.”

The legislation would also significantly boost unemployment insurance, expanding eligibility and offering workers an additional $600 a week for four months, on top of what state unemployment programs pay.

“We had asked for four months and four months looks like what we’re going to get,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “It will put money into the hands of those who need it so much because they lost their jobs, as I said, through no fault of their own.”

The legislation also contains $130 billion for hospitals and $150 billion for a state and local stimulus fund, both major Democratic priorities, Schumer told fellow Democrats on a conference call, according to a person familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it.

Lawmakers of both parties are under extreme pressure from their constituents and health-care providers in their districts and states to act to provide desperately needed money and supplies amid widespread shortages and waves of layoffs. As of Tuesday evening there were more than 55,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States, and the numbers were rising by the hour.

Mnuchin was joined on Capitol Hill on Tuesday by White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the newly announced White House chief of staff. They joined key Senate Republicans around midday to review terms of the deal.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who negotiated the small business portion, said it had grown to $367 billion, with inclusion of six months of loan forbearance for all small businesses adding $17 billion to the original $350 billion price tag.

“I can’t imagine there not being a deal given the differences that remain are frankly not insurmountable,” Rubio said following the meeting.

Coronavirus outbreak diverts Navy aircraft carrier to Guam, all 5,000 aboard to be tested

  Coronavirus outbreak diverts Navy aircraft carrier to Guam, all 5,000 aboard to be tested The number of infected sailors has risen sharply — from initial reports of three to "dozens" as of Thursday, officials said.The USS Theodore Roosevelt remains "operationally capable," according to the acting secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly.

All parties would like to act swiftly, so if the Senate is able to pass a bipartisan package quickly the expectation is that the House would follow suit. House Democrats released their own larger and more generous stimulus package on Monday, stuffed with provisions that would be non-starters for Republicans such as a $15 minimum wage requirement for airlines and businesses that receive funds. But that legislation would be set aside and Pelosi would attempt to move the Senate bill through the House.

One outstanding issue Pelosi raised is that Democrats are pushing for a dramatic increase in food stamp benefits in exchange for accepting billions more in funding for the administration’s farm bailout that Republicans have included in the stimulus bill. Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said in a news release that the legislation would increase the amount the Department of Agriculture can spend on its bailout program from $30 billion to $50 billion.

A few other sticking points remained. Democrats were pushing for more money for Native American tribes. And in early drafts of the bill circulating Tuesday, nonprofits, with the exception of those that receive funding from Medicaid, would have been allowed to access the small business loans. This would effectively have excluded some health centers that provide reproductive services. Some Democrats and health advocates objected to that language — and as the legislation was finalized it appeared to have been struck.

The House of Representatives is currently out of session, and it would be tricky for House members to return en masse to Washington to vote. Democratic aides said they were optimistic that a strong bipartisan Senate vote would make it possible to pass the bill by unanimous consent in the House — a process requiring only two members present in the House chamber. But that would require every lawmaker to agree — a tall order for a $2 trillion bill touching every part of the U.S. economy.

“The easiest way for us to do it is to put aside our concerns for another day and get this done," Pelosi said Tuesday on CNBC. "My goal always has been to bring this bill to the floor under unanimous consent.”

However, any lawmaker of either party could object, and in an early warning sign Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) voiced concern about the legislation over Twitter, writing that despite “vague statements” no one had seen text of the legislation that “seems to give a *HALF TRILLION DOLLARS* away to big corporations, w/ few worker protections.”

Among House Republicans, there is similar reluctance to commit to approving a still-unseen bill, according to GOP aides familiar with internal conversations. Besides potential policy objections inherent in a $2 trillion bill, members might also resist passing a bill of that magnitude without a formal vote, the aides said — thus requiring most lawmakers to return to Washington.

If unanimous consent is not possible, aides of both parties said the most likely scenario would be a day-long vote where members would be encouraged to spread out their trips to the floor and not congregate as the vote is taken.

At least two House members and one senator have tested positive for the coronavirus, while others remained quarantined, and multiple lawmakers have voiced trepidation about returning to the Capitol.

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Tuesday’s progress on the massive legislation followed four straight days of negotiations on Capitol Hill, with a deal seemingly in reach each day only to elude completion. Tempers flared on the Senate floor Monday as senators got into a near shouting match over the delays.

Congress has already passed two much smaller coronavirus relief bills: an $8.3 billion emergency supplemental for the health-care system, and a $100-billion-plus bill to boost paid sick leave and unemployment insurance and provide free coronavirus testing.

John Wagner and Colby Itkowitz contributed to this report.

Coronavirus outbreak diverts Navy aircraft carrier to Guam, all 5,000 aboard to be tested .
The number of infected sailors has risen sharply — from initial reports of three to "dozens" as of Thursday, officials said.The USS Theodore Roosevelt remains "operationally capable," according to the acting secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly.

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