The bill, which was adopted by unanimous consent, provides for an additional $ 310 billion, the small business loan fund that ran out of money last week. The package also includes $ 60 billion in disaster relief loans and grants, $ 75 billion for hospitals and $ 25 billion to boost coronavirus testing.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and minority leader Chuck Schumer announced the deal on Tuesday. McConnell asked for the measure to be approved by unanimous consent, and it was passed without formal objection, although Republican senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee expressed opposition before the request.
“I am pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with the administration on interim emergency relief legislation,” Schumer said in a letter to fellow Democrats on Tuesday afternoon. Schumer called the deal “the result of bipartite negotiations with Secretary Mnuchin, the Trump administration and President Pelosi.”
McConnell criticized Democrats for delaying legislation by blocking an earlier attempt to expand the PPP after it ran out last week, but said it supported Tuesday’s deal.
“I welcome this bipartisan agreement and hope that the Senate will adopt it soon after members have reviewed the final text,” said McConnell in a statement. “I’m just sorry that it took my colleagues in the Democratic leadership 12 days to accept the inevitable. “
Schumer said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday that he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had negotiated with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a phone call that continued “well after midnight”
Democratsadditional PPP funding of $ 250 billion two weeks ago, arguing that it has not done enough to help hospitals and state and local governments. Schumer said the move allowed them to get more funding for hospitals and to expand testing.
“Chief McConnell first tried to bypass negotiations altogether and block a bill that would have increased funding for the single Paycheck Protection (P3) program, while ignoring the many changes the Democrats have been calling for. improve its service to small businesses, “said Schumer Tuesday. .
President Trump urged lawmakers to approve the legislation in two tweets Tuesday afternoon.
“I urge the Senate and the House to adopt the paycheck protection program and the Improved Health Care Act with additional funding for P3s, hospitals and testing. After signing this bill, we will begin discussions on the next legislative initiative with tax relief… to state and local governments for the loss of COVID 19 revenue, the infrastructure investments needed for bridges, tunnels, broadband, tax incentives for restaurants, entertainment, sports, and payroll tax cuts to increase economic growth, “Mr. Trump wrote.
In his letter to colleagues, Schumer highlighted the inclusion of funds for a national coronavirus screening program, a key demand from Democrats.
The bill provides $ 60 billion in P3 funding for small lenders and community financial institutions “to meet the needs of small businesses and unbanked and underserved non-profit organizations” such as rural businesses and belonging to minorities.
The Democrats declared victory with the deal, which is far more important than the original $ 250 billion package proposed by the Republicans two weeks ago.
“None of these arrangements would have been possible without the insistence of the Senate Democrats,” said Schumer in his letter.
Democratic governors and legislators have argued that the previous three coronavirus rescue programs have not done enough to help states and localities. Interim bill does not specifically include state aid to compensate for lost revenue, but Schumer said the White House is committed to giving states more flexibility to use funds that have already been approved .
The Democratic leader has said he hopes to address state aid in the fourth major legislative package to address the economic fallout from the coronavirus.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomohospitals, schools and local governments will face 20% cuts in state aid if the federal government does not include more funds in the next coronavirus package. Cuomo is with President Trump in the White House today.
Majority House Leader Steny Hoyer sent a memo to colleagues advising them that the House could meet on Thursday to pass the bill if the Senate passes it on Tuesday. Hoyer said he expected Republicans to block the option of approving the measure by voice vote, which means that a quorum of members would have to be present to pass the legislation by recorded vote.
The House is also expected towhich would allow remote voting by proxy, which means that a member could vote on behalf of their colleague.
Alan He, Nancy Cordes and Paula Reid contributed to this report.