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Mnuchin, Schumer optimistic on coronavirus stimulus package, say deal is close

   Wednesday March 25, 2020 - 1:50 AM
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WASHINGTON â?? Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appeared to be nearing a deal Tuesday on a roughly $2 trillion stimulus package to help American workers and businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic.

After Mnuchin and several White House officials arrived on Capitol Hill to meet with Schumer and wrap up the outstanding issues, Schumer said on the floor that there are a few outstanding issues that could be smoothed over "within the next few hours."

"Last night, I thought we're on the 5-yard line. Right now we're on the 2. As I also said last night, at this point, of the few outstanding issues, I don't see any that can't be overcome," he said after the meeting, which acting White House chief of staff Mark Meadows also attended.

While the morning negotiations were underway, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor: â??If we act today, what Americans will remember, and what history will record, is that the Senate did the right thing. That we came together."

Schumer laid out several of the new additions to the package, including what he described as "unemployment insurance on steroids."

He said that for anyone who loses their job in this crisis, "the federal government will pay your salary, your full salary, for now four months." He said these provisions would not only "put money into the hands of those who need it so much," but it would also pump money into the economy and will keep companies intact.

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