- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laid out a timeline for his chamber to push through negotiations on the third economic coronavirus bill, teeing up a vote for Monday.

Senators from both sides of the aisle met with Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and other key White House officials to begin talks to finalize the coronavirus stimulus package based off the proposal Republicans introduced Thursday.

“I tasked these bipartisan teams to reach an agreement by the end of today, tonight,” he told reporters.

Mr. McConnell plans to file the bill on Saturday — after lawmakers spend the day drafting — setting the Senate clock up for a full vote on Monday.

Going into the meeting, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer voiced his concerns with the Republican package, particularly with the aid to hard-hit sectors of the economy.

“Senator McConnell’s bill is not pro-worker at all. It puts corporations ahead of people,” he said. “We are not going to go for any bailouts unless they are worker-friendly. The money goes to workers, employees and no stock buybacks — none of that is in the bill.”

Democrats also want to see a robust surge in unemployment benefits and more funds for the overly stressed health care system.

In all, the phase three bill is expected to cost more than $1 trillion.

In the four-part plan, Republicans aim to extend loans to small businesses; checks to the American public; major support to hard-hit industries; and more funds to the overly strained health care system.

Under this proposal, the government would provide about $1,200 to Americans making up to $75,000. The handouts would then be scaled down between $75,000 and $99,000 and provide $500 per child.

It includes a $230 billion loan plan for eligible small businesses to go toward payrolls and other operating expenses to help these companies stay afloat and keep their employees.

To aid certain sectors of the economy devastated by the virus, the package includes $208 billion in loans. That figure breaks down to $50 billion for airlines, $8 billion for cargo air carriers and $150 billion for other eligible entities.

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