McConnell: 'At Last, We Have a Deal,' As Senate Agrees to Send $2T Out the Door

By Susan Jones | March 25, 2020 | 6:43am EDT
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announces bipartisan agreement on a $2 trillion relief package. (Photo: Screen capture)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announces bipartisan agreement on a $2 trillion relief package. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - "At last we have a deal," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced on the Senate floor around 1:30 this Wednesday morning.

"And it's good news. It's good news for the doctors and nurses in emergency rooms around the country, who are waiting for more masks and more funding. It's good news for families all across America. At last, we have a deal."

McConnell said there is bipartisan agreement on the $2 trillion relief package, which he described as "a wartime level of investment into our nation."

The text of the bill will be released later today, but according to press reports, the deal includes:

-- a one-time, $1,200 check for Americans making up to $75,000;

-- $367 billion for a small business loan program;

-- 100 billion for hospitals;

-- $150 billion for state and local governments;

-- $500 billion for corporate liquidity, to be overseen by an inspector general and a congressional panel.  (Trump properties are excluded. (According to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the deal prohibits businesses controlled by the President, Vice President, Members of Congress and heads of Executive Departments from receiving loans or investments from Treasury programs.)

McConnell said the "historic" relief package "will rush new resources onto the front lines of our nation's health care fight, and it will inject trillions of dollars of cash into the economy as fast as possible to help American workers, families, small businesses, and industries make it through this disruption and emerge on the other side, ready to soar.

McConnell said the bill addresses Republicans' four priorities: direct payments to lower income Americans and an expansion of unemployment insurance; emergency loans to small businesses so they can keep paying their workers; money to "stabilize key national industries" to prevent layoffs; and funding for hospitals and health care providers and new medicines and vaccines.

"The men and women of the greatest country on earth are going to defeat this coronavirus and reclaim our future," McConnell said. "And the Senate is going to make sure they have the ammunition to do it," McConnell said. "I'm thrilled that we're finally going to deliver for the country that has been waiting for us to step up. I'm relieved my distinguished Democratic colleagues are ready to take yes for an answer."

The Senate is expected to pass the bill later Wednesday. The House, which is in recess, may attempt to pass the bill by unanimous consent, so all members don't have to risk their health by traveling back to Washington.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday that unanimous consent -- if it can be obtained -- is the preferred way to vote.


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