Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stated on Tuesday that Congress and the White House made an agreement on “every major issue” of a nearly $500 billion emergency interim coronavirus relief package for small businesses, hospitals and testing programs across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Fox News informed.
“I think we will be able to pass this today,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said on CNN Tuesday morning. “Last night, well past midnight, Speaker Pelosi, myself, Chief of Staff Meadows, and Secretary of [Treasury] Mnuchin were on the phone and we came to an agreement on almost every issue, staff was up all night writing, there are a still few more I-s to dot and T-s to cross, but we have a deal and I believe we will pass it today.”
Other Capitol Hill sources were not very sure about this matter and wouldn’t want to give this kind of information but saying that the “goal is to get it cleared this afternoon.”
All sides appear to be working toward a final product soon, however.
Schumer also stated that part of the plan will be funding for coronavirus testing, noting that it was “one of the last things that we had to hold out for.”
White House sources also told Fox News they expect the Senate could vote on the new bill sometime later Tuesday. Sources echoed Schumer in saying the snag had been over-testing, but it has largely been resolved.
Schumer said Tuesday that states need funds and federal involvement to implement widespread testing.
“You need a national strategy, and the president and Mnuchin and Meadows agreed to that, to their credit, and that will be in the proposal,” he said.
The agreement comes after congressional Democrats and Republicans from both chambers and representatives from the White House finalized the so-called “phase 3.5” response to the coronavirus pandemic.