Senate readies vote on massive coronavirus rescue package after early morning deal

The package – the largest of its kind in history – comes after five days of tense negotiations between Senate leaders and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. It includes a dramatic expansion of unemployment insurance, a bailout fund for state and local governments, instant money for hospitals, and a huge pool of grants and loans for small businesses.

It is the third major Congress bill in response to the crisis that has infected 55,500 Americans and brought the US economy to a standstill, and will not be the last.

“In fact, this is an investment in our country during the war,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at around 1:30 a.m. in the Senate when he announced the deal with the Democrats and the White House.

Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi strongly praised the Senate contract in a statement on Wednesday morning, saying the package had evolved tremendously from the bill McConnell presented last weekend.

“The Republican bill proposed by Senator McConnell on Sunday was a non-starter,” said Pelosi. “This bipartisan legislation brings us a long way to meet the needs of the American people.”

Hours after the deal was announced, lawmakers ran to finish thousands of pages of highly complex text. The Senate is expected to clear the deal slightly and then leave Washington, where it is unclear when they will return.

Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Senate Minority, said on Wednesday that “chances are good” that senators will eventually return to Washington to work on an additional bailout package.

“We should be ready and able to return bipartisan and do more when we need it, and I think we probably have to do it one way or another,” he said.

However, there are still big questions about the timeline of the house.

When she arrived at the Capitol on Wednesday morning, Pelosi said that the Democrats were still checking the details and would not commit to holding a vote the same day.

“We will see the bill and see when the Senate will vote, so there is no decision about when we will see the bill,” Pelosi told reporters.

In its statement on Wednesday, Pelosi highlighted the democratic successes of the multi-trillion dollar deal, including $ 130 billion for hospital funding, a massive temporary expansion of unemployment benefits, and federal supervision through a $ 500 billion industry support fund. But Pelosi and other top Democrats must start selling the deal to their members if they hope for a quick vote in the house.

Pelosi raised a series of questions and concerns from House Democrats on Tuesday when a two-hour caucus call was made. MEP Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Leader of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, has harshly criticized the Democrats’ strategy. Murphy said the House Democrats’ decision to release their own $ 2.5 trillion The proposal – especially a wish list – distracted from the ongoing Senate negotiations and put the most vulnerable members of the Caucus in a defensive squat.

MP Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Head of the progressive wing of the caucus, whose homeland was particularly badly affected by the virus, also commented on the call, saying that she had answered several questions about the benefits for immigrants. Worker protection and federal supervision before it is agreed to unanimously pass the bill.

To this end, House Democratic Caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) Has planned a series of calls with certain committee chairs later in the day. Democrats can dial in and ask specific political questions about the Senate Agreement. These calls, which run from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., are intended to familiarize the caucus with the massive business that legislators will probably only be able to read hours before the vote.

Pelosi said she plans to present the bill in a way that does not force lawmakers to return to Washington by “unanimous consent”, a legislative maneuver that is generally reserved for swift adoption of undisputed laws.

However, a single lawmaker could object to this request and oblige the house to turn to other options, including returning members to Washington for roll-call voting or even proxy voting. A democratic report released earlier this week outlined the various voting options and strongly supported unanimous approval as the best way to get into the current crisis.

Some progressives have raised concerns about the law on Twitter, although many Democrats say that their caucus would ultimately not be ready to endanger emergency relief.

Republican House leaders have privately recognized that a member is highly likely to object to a unanimous declaration of consent and discussed this in a conference call by the whip team on Tuesday evening.

However, passing the rescue package by vote is another viable option that allows almost all legislators to stay in their home districts The source added that it was discussed at the GOP conference.

MP Justin Amash (I-Mich.), Who often objects to Congress’s largest spending packages and is not committed to party leadership, has also made fun of the deal on Twitter, calling it a “raw deal for people.”

“It is far too little for those who need the most help while devoting hundreds of billions to the wellbeing of businesses, growing the government massively, inhibiting economic adjustment and widening the gap between rich and poor,” he wrote on early Wednesday.

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