Published: Wed, March 25, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Nancy Pelosi sees coronavirus economic stimulus deal 'in the red zone'

Nancy Pelosi sees coronavirus economic stimulus deal 'in the red zone'

A Senate agreement on a third wave of emergency funding to address the coronavirus could be "hours" away, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday, as Republicans and Democrats seemed close to bridging disagreements that have stalled a deal on the approximately $2 trillion package.

Top White House aide Eric Ueland announced the agreement in the Capitol hallway shortly after midnight, capping days of intense haggling.

The package had been expected to include a $500bn fund to help hard-hit industries and a comparable amount for direct payments of up to $3,000 to millions of United States families, as well as $350bn for small-business loans, $250bn for expanded unemployment aid and $75bn for hospitals.

Democrats have twice blocked attempts to advance the bill, saying it did not provide enough money for states and hospitals, lacked sufficient aid for unemployed Americans and did not include adequate supervision of a massive fund to aid big businesses. "The longer it takes, the harder it will be to start up our economy", Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

If that happens, Pelosi said she would probably need to call back the entire chamber for an in-person vote, a more time-consuming process that would also raise health risks and logistical challenges for members. "That's the expectation, that we will finish it tomorrow and hopefully vote on it tomorrow", Schumer told reporters.

"There are lots of good things here", Schumer said, predicting that lingering disagreements could be resolved in a matter of hours.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told the Senate that after almost a week of "arduous" negotiations that they now have a bipartisan agreement on the largest rescue package in American history but its passing is not a moment of celebration but of necessity to help Americans suffering medically and financially due to the coronavirus that is rapidly spreading throughout the country.

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A Senate vote appeared likely Wednesday, with a House vote to follow. The emerging rescue package would be larger than the 2008 bank bailout and 2009 recovery act combined.

The day was filled with back-and-forth in the Senate over the House Democrats' financial stimulus package.

Despite the unusually bitter partisan bickering Monday on the Senate floor, Pelosi predicted Tuesday that the final bill would represent a solid compromise between Senate Republicans-who crafted the initial draft with Democrat input-and Democrats, who delayed passage to ensure it included more of their priorities.

"We expect to have an agreement tomorrow morning", he said.

The US agreed on legislation to help businesses, workers and the health care system amidst the coronavirus pandemic. His suggestion that the pandemic could ease and allow a return to normalcy in a mere few weeks is not supported by public health officials or many others in government.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a Defense Department town hall meeting that the crisis could even extend into July.

Trump's stance in the face of the virus once again shifted beginning Sunday night and continuing at a Monday news conference. "They're looking to us to solve this problem", McConnell said. More than 108,000 people have recovered so far, mostly in China.

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