Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed early Wednesday morning that a bipartisan deal for a nearly $2 trillion emergency relief package to address the coronavirus pandemic has been reached.
McConnell said the deal “will get more equipment to the heroes on the front lines” and that “this is a wartime level of investment.” The Majority Leader also added that “this has been a long week for the Senate,” and that they “are going to pass this legislation later today.”
“Ladies and gentlemen we are done. We have a deal. Much of the work on bill text has been completed and I’m hopeful over the next few hours we’ll finish what’s left and we will circulate it early in the morning,” White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland said.
The text is set to come out later Wednesday. Two GOP Senate aides told the Daily Caller there was no way the vote would happen Tuesday night, as many expected it would, instead there was an announcement of a deal. North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows was on Capitol Hill late, telling reporters the deal will happen “very very soon.”
This comes as the Senate again failed to pass a procedural cloture vote Monday. The vote was 49-46. Republicans needed 60 yes votes to pass the vote. On Sunday night the Senate tried to pass a cloture vote but failed 47-47 as no Democrats would jump on board. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday that the bill would include $75 billion for hospitals and that two-thirds of all new money in the bill would go to states.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Monday introduced a massive coronavirus bill with a number of provisions completely unrelated to the crisis.
Pelosi’s 1,119-page coronavirus bill contains provisions including, “conducting risk-limiting audits of results of elections,” bailing out the postal service, requiring early voting, same-day voter registration, requiring the airlines to fully offset their carbon emissions, gives you chance to look up greenhouse gas emissions from the flights you want to take, and much more that have nothing to do with helping solve the crisis at hand.
Pelosi said Sunday that she will halt negotiations with the Senate and move to pass her own coronavirus package in the House, which could drag things out longer than many expected. Pelosi’s legislation will be a $1.6 trillion emergency package, according to Politico. (RELATED: Speaker Pelosi Moves Forward With Her Own Coronavirus Package, Despite Current Senate Negotiations)
The Speaker’s emergency package comes as Senate and House leaders could not lock down a deal Sunday for an expected vote. “From my standpoint, we’re apart,” Pelosi told reporters as she went into McConnell’s office Sunday morning to discuss the legislation. (RELATED: McConnell Restructures Campaign Into Meals Effort For Kentuckians Affected By Coronavirus)
The Senate failed to pass a procedural cloture vote on a phase-three coronavirus stimulus bill twice, as Democrats refused to vote with Republicans.