Senate Haggles While Trump Demands Action: Congress Update

Senators are negotiating the final sticking points in a roughly $2 trillion stimulus bill to help the U.S. economy get through the coronavirus pandemic. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized Democrats for blocking two procedural votes that pushed back the timeline for passing the relief package.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to resolve Democrats’ complaints about the Republican legislation. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, has introduced a counterproposal from House Democrats that adds up to $2.5 trillion.

Trump Pushes Congress to Pass Deal Today (9:03 a.m.)

President Donald Trump continued to lament the lack of a congressional deal for passing a stimulus bill worth $2 trillion or more.

“Congress must approve the deal, without all of the nonsense, today,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “The longer it takes, the harder it will be to start up our economy. Our workers will be hurt!”

Trump said Monday that the American economy can’t remain slowed for too long to fight the coronavirus, declaring that the country “was not built to be shut down.” The number of U.S. cases grew to more than 43,000 on Monday, and the country exceeded 500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Senate Haggles Over Virus Relief Bill (6 a.m.)

The Senate missed McConnell’s goal of voting on the stimulus package by Monday, but Schumer said the “list of outstanding issues has narrowed significantly.”

$2.5 Trillion Virus Bill Delays Mortgage, Car Payments” target=”_blank”>Read More: Pelosi’s $2.5 Trillion Virus Bill Delays Mortgage, Car Payments

The Senate and the Democratic-led House will have to pass the same version of the bill to send it to President Donald Trump to sign into law. Pelosi has raised the stakes with a 1,400-page package that includes dozens of long-sought Democratic initiatives.

The House bill is intended to enable concessions, yet produce a more-favorable final settlement with McConnell and Senate Republicans, according to one Democratic official familiar with Pelosi’s strategy. She said Monday that she wanted the Senate bill to move closer to “the values” of the just-introduced House bill.

Pelosi would consider the Senate version “if it’s satisfactory,” she said, “not only to me though, to my leadership, to my members and to our chairmen, who have worked really hard on our bill.”

Trump denounced her bill in a tweet late Monday night: “Republicans had a deal until Nancy Pelosi rode into town from her extended vacation,” he wrote. “The Democrats want the Virus to win? They are asking for things that have nothing to do with our great workers or companies.”

But about the same time, Schumer told reporters at the Capitol that “we expect to have an agreement tomorrow morning.”

“Secretary Mnuchin called the president,” Schumer added, “we told him we are very, very close to an agreement and he seemed very happy with that.”

Catch Up on Washington’s Virus Response

  • Trump Says U.S. Isn’t ‘Built to Be Shut Down’ Over Virus
  • Democrats Block Senate Economic Stimulus Bill as Talks Falter
  • Pelosi Stimulus Requires Airlines Receiving Aid to Cut Emissions
  • Governors Clamp Down as Trump Considers Easing Virus Plans
  • Fed Sidesteps Congress’s Bickering With Sweeping Rescue Plan

— With assistance by Steven T. Dennis

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