Negotiations at the highest level between Congress and the White House over a gigantic $ 1 trillion economic bailout plan seemed to move forward Saturday night, as President Donald Trump called for an agreement to stabilize a nation paralyzed by the coronavirus pandemic.
At a time of unease among the population and instability in the markets, all parties hinted that an agreement was within reach. The main objective was to ensure that millions of workers suddenly affected by the crisis did not run out of income.
Differences have also narrowed during talks about a sort of Marshall Plan for hospitals and about lending to airlines and other large corporations that have had to stop working due to the virus and the national suspension of activities. The Marshall Plan helped rebuild Western Europe after World War II.RELATED
Senate Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell announced Saturday night that they were “very close” to reaching a bipartisan resolution.
McConnell instructed the committee chairs to prepare a draft project. Officials have set an amount of almost $ 1.4 trillion and claim that other Federal Reserve measures could inject two trillion dollars into the United States economy.
“We are determined to offer the meaningful help Americans need, as quickly as this crisis requires,” McConnell said.
A spokesman for the Democratic leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, said “there is still no agreement.” Democrats were looking forward to reading the draft and continuing the negotiations, spokesman Justin Goodman said.
“Everybody is working hard and wants a solution that is correct, it seems to me that we are very close,” Trump declared to the press with a tone of confidence about the nation’s ability to soon overcome the pandemic.
On Capitol Hill, the Senate called an extraordinary weekend session as negotiators hastily crafted the rescue plan. No announcement was scheduled until at least Sunday. The goal of the Senate is to hold an initial vote on Sunday and get approval in that chamber by Monday.
There is an urgent need to act due to the huge increase in applications for unemployment assistance, the closure of companies and the reopening of financial markets on Monday, hungry for signs that Washington may dampen the health crisis and what experts describe as an impending recession.
Trump has declined to elaborate, but said Saturday that he would be courting top negotiators.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other top White House officials attended Capitol Hill for the second day of negotiations without a break, although no announcement was expected.