Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin tells ‘America’s Newsroom’ that he’s now optimistic that a good bill is on the table to pass through the Senate and help Americans.

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox.  Sign up here.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Tuesday that lawmakers are very close to reaching a deal on a nearly $2 trillion stimulus package meant to address widespread health and economic problems created by the coronavirus outbreak, and that an agreement could be reached “in the next few hours.”

Fresh off what he said was a “very productive meeting” with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House congressional liaison Eric Ueland and acting White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Schumer reported on progress that he said includes securing four months’ full salary for workers if businesses can no longer afford to keep them.

TOP PENTAGON OFFICIALS ESTIMATE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK WILL LAST 3 MONTHS

“This is a great plan,” Schumer said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “What it says is if you lose your job in this crisis, you can be furloughed by your employer. That means you can stay on that employer’s worklist; if you have health benefits with the employer you can keep getting them. But, most importantly, the federal government will pay your salary — your full salary — for now four months.”

Schumer said this assistance — which he called “unemployment insurance on steroids” — is critical because not only will it protect workers, it will help businesses recover more easily after the crisis is over.

The Democratic leader also pointed to his party’s efforts to obtain greater funding for hospitals, specifically so they can secure additional beds, masks and ventilators.

CORONAVIRUS HITTING NEW YORK LIKE A ‘BULLET TRAIN’ AS CASES ARE ‘DOUBLING ABOUT EVERY 3 DAYS,’ CUOMO WARNS

A point of contention has been $500 billion for guaranteed loans to larger industries. Schumer said he is working to ensure oversight and transparency for any “bailout” funds given to companies.

When Democrats refused to move forward on the bill Sunday and Monday, they were accused of trying to insert provisions unrelated to the outbreak into the package. Schumer claimed that this is currently not the case.

“We are not looking for things that are extraneous to this crisis, and I don’t believe that they are in this package,” he said.

The House Democrats’ bill, however, is another matter, and it’s unclear how the two chambers might reconcile immense differences between their legislation.

Leaders from both parties continue to iron out a final agreement, but Schumer remained optimistic that it could be done by day’s end.

“Of the few outstanding issues, I don’t see any that can’t be overcome in the next few hours,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

The Guardian view on corporate bailouts: money for something

One day, a billionaire; the next, a human dartboard. The attacks on Sir Richard Branson after he implored the UK government to give a £500m bailout to his Virgin Atlantic airline have been sharp and stinging. To the tycoon they…

Top Tulsa health official: Trump rally ‘likely’ led to coronavirus surge

OKLAHOMA CITY — President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa that drew thousands of people in late June, along with large protests that accompanied it, “likely contributed” to a dramatic surge in new coronavirus cases, Tulsa City-County Health Department Director…

PROTESTS IN BELARUS AFTER PRESIDENTIAL VOTEAttempts to find ‘Russian connection’ to unrest in Belarus groundless — diplomat

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has dismissed as groundless attempts to find a “Russian connection” to the unrest in Belarus. “We expect that professional cooperation by the investigative committees, prosecutor generals’ offices and other agencies…

Sheriff barely wins primary vs. predecessor fired after Parkland

Fort Lauderdale, Florida — Incumbent Gregory Tony narrowly won the hotly-contested race for the Democratic nomination for Broward County sheriff Tuesday night after a campaign centered on a high school massacre and a shooting decades earlier. Tony was named sheriff…