- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said the administration and congressional leaders have struck a deal on a $450 billion coronavirus relief package and that he thinks the Senate will pass it on Tuesday.

“I think we will be able to pass this today,” Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat, said on CNN. “There are still a few more i’s to dot and t’s to cross, but we have a deal, and I believe we’ll pass it today.”

The bill is expected to include about $300 billion to replenish a loan program designed to help small businesses make payroll, plus $150 billion for items such as disaster loans and hospitals.

Mr. Schumer said a national coronavirus testing plan will be part of the package, at the behest of Democrats.

He also said $125 billion is earmarked to go toward serving underrepresented communities, which was one of Senate Democrats’ previous demands when they blocked a quick extension of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer’s office advised members late Monday that if the Senate approves the package on Tuesday, the House could meet as early as Thursday to consider it.

Mr. Hoyer’s office also said the House is planning to vote on a rule change on voting by proxy, which would allow members to tap designees to vote on their behalf during the coronavirus pandemic.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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