Democrats and Republicans are getting closer to a deal on the massive stimulus package to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus.
Lawmakers and the Trump administration expect to reach an agreement Tuesday morning, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters late Monday just before midnight, after meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for a sixth time in the Capitol building.
“There are still a few little differences. Neither of us think they are in any way going to get in the way of a final agreement,” Schumer said.
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, took to Twitter to press for a deal. “Congress must approve the deal, without all of the nonsense, today,” he tweeted Tuesday morning. “The longer it takes, the harder it will be to start up our economy.”
As part of the negotiations, Mnuchin agreed to an inspector general and an oversight committee for a $500 billion fund Republicans have proposed setting aside to aid distressed businesses. Democrats had taken aim at the fund for leaving too much discretion to Mnuchin.
“Secretary Mnuchin called the president,” Schumer said Monday night. “We told him we are very, very close to an agreement, and he seemed very happy with that. And they all wanted to try get it done tomorrow. I think the American people want it done as quickly as possible.”
Schumer added that the Democrats’ “two main issues: workers first and a ‘Marshall Plan’ for hospitals are very strongly in the bill.”
Schumer said the two parties had already come to certain agreements about revisions to the Republicans’ bill, including adding more unemployment protections and giving more money to hospitals. He said the Democrats are “fighting hard and making progress” on more funding for state and local governments.
Still, any deal the GOP-controlled Senate comes to ultimately needs to be passed by the Democratic-led House, too. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday released her own $2.5 trillion proposal, which, while unlikely to become law, gave an indication of her priorities. It is possible Pelosi, who has been talking with Schumer, could push for more changes to the Senate bill before giving it the go-ahead.
The Senate GOP’s bill failed to clear a key procedural hurdle Monday after a similar result Sunday. The measure has a price tag of well over $1 trillion, and could potentially hit $2 trillion. The effort has taken on urgency as hospitals, workers, people and companies have all pleaded they need cash quickly to cope with the crushing economic impact of the coronavirus.
CNBC’s Eamon Javers contributed to this report
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.