Chuck Schumer thinks “we have an agreement” on $ 450 billion coronavirus rescue program

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“There are still a few points to cross, but we have an agreement. And I believe we will pass it today, “said the top Senate Democrat to John Berman of CNN on” New Day. “

Despite Schumer’s proclamation, the Republicans told CNN on Tuesday that the deal was close but not yet close at hand.

Although pending concepts may have been agreed late Monday evening, the current legislative language has not yet been finalized and sources say there are still several outstanding issues to be resolved in the coming hours.

The Senate has a pro forma session scheduled for 4 p.m. AND Tuesday, during which senators could adopt the legislative package by unanimous consent if these questions are resolved.

Schumer told CNN that he, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin negotiated over the phone “well after midnight” on Monday and “reached an agreement on just about every problem. “

Of the $ 310 billion for the Small Business Administration’s paycheck protection program, $ 125 billion will be sent “exclusively to the unbanked, minorities, rural areas and all the little mom and pop stores who don’t have good banking connections and need help, “said Schumer.

Schumer said the deal also includes $ 30 billion for national coronavirus testing and $ 75 billion for hospitals.

What will not be in the bill, he acknowledged, is more money for states and localities, which the Democrats have insisted on.

“But we got a commitment from the White House that they would be able to use these funds for lost income,” Schumer told CNN.

Schumer said the Democrats will fight for more state and local funding in a separate relief program for the future.

The Trump administration and lawmakers have been under pressure to replenish the paycheck protection program after it ran out last week. The SBA said it had approved more than 1.66 million loans for more than $ 342 billion.

But the main complaint with the program is that banks have given priority to their existing customers and to large restaurants, which have received millions of PPP loans, leaving many small businesses without access to funds to keep their operations afloat. .

CNN’s Ted Barrett, Manu Raju, Lauren Fox, Phil Mattingly and Alicia Wallace of CNN Business contributed to this report.

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