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Senate closes in on massive, bipartisan deal to address coronavirus crisis

   Tuesday March 24, 2020 - 5:50 AM
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With temperatures running hot on Capitol Hill, congressional leaders and White House officials said Tuesday they are on the verge of a bipartisan agreement on a massive package to respond to the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

After a couple of false starts where the Senate failed on votes to advance to debate on the stimulus bill, which is expected to top $2.5 trillion, Senate leaders said negotiators are closing in on the end zone.

"This majority has gone out of its way to make this process as bipartisan and as open as possible, the administration has bent over backwards to work with Democrats and address their concern," Majority Leader Mitch McConnell McConnell, R-Ky., said. "Now at last I believe we are on the five-yard line."

â??Last night, I thought were on the five-yard line. Right now weâ??re on the two,â?쳌 Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed. â??At this point, of the few outstanding issues I donâ??t see any that canâ??t be overcome within the next few hours.â?쳌

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, incoming White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland returned to the Capitol Tuesday morning â?? shuttling between the Senate offices of McConnell and Schumer.

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