Top Democrats say they're not yet ready to sign off on coronavirus stimulus package

Top Democrats said Sunday they're not yet ready to sign off on the major coronavirus stimulus package — and will be preparing their own legislation — as Congress attempts to ready the bill for passage as soon as Monday.
Just prior to an 11 a.m. meeting between the top Republican and Democratic congressional leaders, as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters "from my standpoint, we are apart."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters ahead of the meeting that "we need a bill that puts workers first, not corporations" and declined to say whether he supports the current bill.
Leaving Sunday's meeting, Pelosi said she will be introducing her own legislative package "but we are still talking" with Republican leaders. At this point, however, she said there is no bipartisan deal.
The meeting comes hours before a critical 3 p.m. procedural vote on the Phase III bill, of which the text has not yet been released. Congressional leaders are hopeful of hammering out the details Sunday.
Just prior to the meeting, which was held in the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Democrats released what they are still opposed to in the stimulus package. According to a person familiar with the negotiations, Democrats say the language allows for corporations to keep bailout money while still firing workers, that the bailout money has virtually no restraints, and that there are very weak stock buyback restrictions, among other concerns.

McConnell told reporters after meeting that the Senate plans to move forward with its bill and is "hopeful and optimistic" it will have bipartisan support.
"But make no mistake about it, we'll be voting tomorrow, I mean the wheel has to stop at some point," McConnell said. "And I don't want any of you to buy the notion that this isn't a thoroughly bipartisan proposal already. There's still some elbowing and maneuvering for room as you can imagine, but this is a pretty solid like bipartisan proposal agreed to by a lot of rank and file Democrats who were involved in drafting it."
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said he thought the meeting "was very productive" and that both sides are "very close" to a deal. He added that he doesn't think Pelosi introducing her own legislation is "productive."
"I don't know that we'd have the time for that," he said, adding he believes that "would do the country a lot of damage."

Mnuchin told reporters he's still optimistic about a deal, saying "we still think we have an overall understanding and we’re going to try to get this on paper."
According to details of the bill released Thursday, Senate Republicans are proposing giving a $1,200 check to every American adult with an income under $75,000, decreasing gradually after that and zeroing out at $99,000 income. Checks would fall to $600 for those with little or no income tax liability, and $500 will be added in per child. The eligibility is based on 2018 tax filings.
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has proposed universal $2,000 checks per month "for the duration of the crisis." Other Senate Democrats have suggested quarterly checks that begin at $2,000 per person, decreasing over time based on economic triggers.
The total coronavirus package McConnell released costs roughly $1 trillion. Already, Congress has approved — and President Donald Trump has signed — coronavirus aid legislation that provides free coronavirus testing and ensures paid emergency leave, among other measures.
Top Democrats say they're not yet ready to sign off on coronavirus stimulus package Top Democrats say they're not yet ready to sign off on coronavirus stimulus package Reviewed by Anson Moore on March 22, 2020 Rating: 5

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