Senate eyes passage Tuesday for latest coronavirus relief

This week’s legislation is expected to deliver roughly $300 billion for the exhausted Paycheck Protection Program, and about $60 billion of that will be earmarked for businesses without access to large financial institutions. The Paycheck Protection Program ran out of its initial $349 billion round of funding last week.

Negotiators have also discussed including about $60 billion for economic disaster assistance, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for coronavirus testing, one of the last outstanding issues. Schumer said the administration had embraced Democrats’ position of nationalizing the program, though the details and exact funding figures were still in flux on Tuesday morning according to aides.

“You need a national strategy and the president and Mnuchin and [White House chief of staff Mark] Meadows agreed to that to their credit. And that will be in the proposal,” Schumer said.

Yet Democrats finally admitted defeat on their demands for $150 billion for state and local funding after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Mnuchin took a hard line against including that money. Instead the legislation will grant flexibility for unspent money from previous relief bills to be used for revenue shortfalls, Schumer said.

The Senate minority leader along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi continued negotiating with Meadows and Mnuchin until after midnight on Tuesday. If the legislation can be completed before Tuesday afternoon, the Senate could conceivably approve it and send it to the House for final passage later this week.

The House, which is set to vote Thursday on the relief measure, will not be able to pass the legislation unanimously and lawmakers have been instructed to prepare to return to the Capitol this week.