(C) Bloomberg. The U.S. Capitol stands past the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg
(Bloomberg) — The Senate plans to meet Tuesday for a potential vote on an emergency stimulus package of as much as $500 billion, as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said all sides are continuing talks on the measure.
McConnell said congressional leaders and the Trump administration are discussing plans to add funds to a tapped-out small business aid program. The proposal also would provide money for coronavirus testing and overwhelmed hospitals.
“Since this is so urgent, I have asked that the Senate meet again tomorrow in a new session that was not previously scheduled, and the Democratic leader has agreed to my request,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “It’s past time, past time, to get this done for the country.”
Unanimous consent would be required for the Senate to pass the measure during a pro forma session allowing most members to avoid traveling to Washington.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer notified lawmakers Sunday that the chamber could meet as soon as Wednesday to consider legislation. Because an objection to unanimous consent is likely, Hoyer said House members would probably have to go to Washington for a recorded vote.
Discussions are focused on adding $310 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, designed to help small businesses keep workers on their payrolls as much of the country remains under stay-at-home orders.
Another $50 billion to $60 billion would go to a separate Economic Injury Disaster Loan program that provides financing and advances as grants of as much as $10,000 for businesses.
Both of those measure have wide bipartisan support.
The plan also would include $75 billion of the $100 billion Democrats have demanded for hospitals, with a significant portion aimed at rural hospitals, as well as $25 billion for virus testing.
(C)2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Senate Sets Up Tuesday Vote on Aid Plan as Talks Near Agreement
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