White House, Senate negotiations ongoing over massive $1T stimulus amid coronavirus crisis


Trump administration officials are huddling with lawmakers on Capitol Hill Saturday as they continue negotiations with Senate Republicans and Democrats over the massive, $1 trillion-plus stimulus package amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who had anticipated working through the weekend to solidify a plan, had hoped for a deal late Friday, but lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement and talks are still ongoing.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION, LAWMAKERS HUDDLE ON STIMULUS

McConnell said he had received direction from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the White House that a measure should be passed by Monday, setting the stage for a procedural vote on the bill, which is likely to take place on Sunday.

Both the White House and lawmakers are hoping to use the day Saturday to draft final legislative text that can be considered during a vote later this weekend.

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The draft legislation, obtained by Fox News, would provide payments of up to $1,200 per person. They would be phased down at adjusted gross income thresholds of $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 per couple. Additionally, there would be $500 payments for each child.

The amount, though, is slated to then be reduced by $5 for each $100 a taxpayer’s income exceeds the legislation’s threshold. The amount is reduced to zero for single taxpayers with incomes exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers.

The legislation also outlined $300 billion for small businesses to keep furloughed and laid-off workers on the payroll and $208 billion in loans to airlines and other industries.

Some Republicans have objected to certain measures outlined in the bill, and most Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have sounded the alarm saying the measure does not go far enough in protecting American families, and is too focused on corporations.

MCCONNELL’S STIMULUS WOULD PROVIDE $1200 PER PERSON, $2400 FOR COUPLES

“We are beginning to review Senator McConnell’s proposal and, on first reading, it is not at all pro-worker and instead puts corporations way ahead of workers,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.

The Democratic leaders said, however, their priority is to “make sure all workers are protected from the loss of a paycheck or that no family falls into financial ruin because of this pandemic.”

Trump, on Wednesday, signed the second coronavirus relief bill into law that provides paid sick leave, unemployment help and free testing to Americans.

The legislation provides 14 days of paid sick days to workers affected by the coronavirus, ensures free testing to everyone, including the uninsured, and expands food aid and boosts unemployment dollars to states.

The House and Senate already passed a bipartisan $8.3 billion package to prop up the health care system to prepare for the influx of sick Americans. The second response bill that was signed into law Wednesday aims to bring relief to workers who lost their jobs and families at home for illnesses, quarantines or caring for kids whose schools have shuttered.

Meanwhile, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mnuchin announced Friday that, at the direction of the president, he had postponed the tax filing day from April 15 to July 15.

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As of Friday morning, the U.S. had more than 19,624  confirmed cases of coronavirus in all 50 states, including Washington, D.C. The U.S., so far, has seen 260 COVID-19-related deaths.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contribued to this report.

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