Democrats indicate they are finally ready to sign the phase three economic stimulus package Wednesday, which includes a measure that prohibits Donald Trump’s family businesses from receiving benefits from the coronavirus relief.
Senators were finally able to strike a deal overnight on the $2 trillion rescue package to address the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, after Democrats blocked the first two versions of the GOP-backed bill.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote in a Dear Colleague letter early Wednesday morning that the new bill includes a provision to ‘prohibit businesses controlled by the President, Vice President, Members of Congress, and heads of Executive Departments from receiving loans or investments from Treasury programs.’
‘Our unity gave us important strength and leverage in negotiations,’ Schumer lauded.
He also claimed that the most recent version is more worker friendly.
‘To the American people we say, big help, quick help is on the way because we face about the most unprecedented health crisis we have,’ the New York Democrat told CNN Wednesday morning.
Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Republicans and the White House have finally reached a deal on the phase three economic stimulus package, and the $2 trillion bill will be voted on Wednesday
Democrats are specifically proud that the new coronavirus relief package includes a measure that bans Donald Trump and his family, including son-in-law Jared Kushner’s businesses from receiving the benefits from the package or taking loans or investments from Treasury programs
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, sometimes called the White House, in Palm Beach, Florida. He vacations here several times throughout the year and has even changed his residency from New York to Florida
Trump International Hotel in Washinton, D.C.
Schumer told CNN in an interview Wednesday morning that that the latest version is more worker friendly, but did not address the ban on Trump’s companies benefitting from the $500 billion fund for corporations
Schumer said all details of loans to corporations from the $500 billion fund in the $2 trillion package would be published and subject to Inspector General’s oversight, but did not address the ban on the president and his family benefiting.
The revelations of a deal came around 1:00 a.m. and brought an end to five day of marathon negotiations with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowing to get the deal passed in the upper chamber Wednesday.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, we are done. We have a deal,’ the White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland announced from the Capitol overnight.
Ahead of the Senate gaveling out just before 2:00 a.m., McConnell and Schumer delivered brief remarks confirming a deal had been reached, and praising the package.
Congress is hoping to get the bill to the president’s desk for signature by the end of the week as House leaders indicate they are looking at an expedited process to pass the relief package once it reaches their chamber.
The legislation aims to flood the reeling 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.
It followed days of vicious partisan infighting and impassioned Senate floor speeches over what to include, in what ultimately may be the largest emergency rescue package lawmakers have ever passed.
Schumer claimed Democrats were able to secure several other provisions in the package over the last few days by blocking the first two versions proposed by Republicans, even though McConnell claimed they were bipartisan in nature.
In his early morning letter, Schumer lauded they were able to secure an extra month of unemployment insurance, $55 billion more for hospitals and healthcare centers, a ban on allowing companies to use relief money for stock buybacks and eliminating a $3 billion bailout for oil companies, among a list of several other measures.
The death toll in the U.S. is nearing 800 as of Wednesday morning, with more than 1/3 of those coming from New York
Although some Republicans may disagree with provisions detailed in the newest version of the bill, it is expected to have the votes needed to pass through the Senate.
The hold up in passing the bill came as Democrats claimed the Republican version had major ‘problems’ and didn’t even meet the minimum requirements they laid out for inclusion.
Democrats also claimed the first two versions included too much support for bailing out corporations and businesses and not enough focus was put on directly assisting Americans economically affected by the coronavirus crisis.
Republicans, on the other hand, claimed Democrats were trying to include measures in the package that they said had nothing to do with relieving those affected by the fast-spreading respiratory disease.
The bill, however, always included sending money directly to Americans in the form of a $1,000 check.
At higher incomes, the checks would get smaller, according to the latest version, and it would be directly deposited into people’s bank accounts in the next several weeks.
The Tax Foundation estimates that 93.6 per cent of tax filers will get a check. It’s unclear how the bill will deal with those who do not file taxes, but experts recommend quickly filing for 2019 even for those who owe the government nothing.
McConnell, Trump and others lamented that Democrats were trying to get their ‘wish list’ passed in the bill, including parts of the Green New Deal, like setting new emission standards for airlines and giving tax incentives for companies that use solar and wind power.
The number of coronavirus cases have skyrocketed in the U.S. over the last week, and now nears 55,000
When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi returned to Capitol Hill Monday, she proposed her own version of the phase three package as senators struggled to reach a deal with the White House.
Republicans had even more criticism for that version, which included putting aside $35 million for the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., a multi-purpose performance center.
While the House hopes to vote on the new bill by Wednesday or Thursday by bringing it to the floor by unanimous consent, one lawmaker could screw up that plan by objecting to the request.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a champion of the Green New Deal, told MSNBC in an interview Tuesday night that she wants to see more done – like a moratorium on student loans and mortgage and rent payments.
She claimed that $1,000 wasn’t enough to help struggling families who still are responsible for paying these expenses despite potentially losing their shifts as businesses shut down during the outbreak or losing their jobs completely as companies struggle financially.
The New York lawmaker slammed the bill for not including provisions that require companies who take money from the government’s stimulus package to adhere to certain requirements, like being unable to fire their employees.