- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 24, 2020

President Trump called on Congress Tuesday to reject Democrats’ “nonsense” and approve a $1.8 trillion package proposed by Senate Republicans to provide relief for workers and businesses from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

“This is not about the ridiculous Green New Deal. It is about putting our great workers and companies BACK TO WORK!” Mr. Trump tweeted. “Congress must approve the deal, without all of the nonsense, today.”

A rival $2.5 trillion bill unveiled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi includes proposals for expanded solar energy tax credits and tighter fuel efficiency requirements for any airlines that accept government aid.

Senate Democrats blocked the White House-backed bill from advancing for the second time on Monday, asserting that $500 billion for large companies in the package amounts to a corporate “slush fund.”

The administration says there will be strong oversight of the corporate aid, and that every day of delay is throwing more people onto the unemployment rolls.

“The longer it takes, the harder it will be to start up our economy. Our workers will be hurt!” Mr. Trump tweeted.

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin negotiated with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer until nearly midnight on Monday, with both men saying they were very close to an agreement.

The president also continued to bang the drum for some workers in the U.S. to return to their jobs very soon.

“Our people want to return to work,” he tweeted. “They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. The cure cannot be worse (by far) than the problem! Congress must act now. We will come back strong!”

But Thomas Bossert, who served as Mr. Trump’s homeland security adviser, said Tuesday the purported COVID-19 death rate of 1% in the U.S. will rise “if we prematurely return to open society w/out controls.”

“More infected people means more total deaths. 1% of 66M = 660K,” Mr. Bossert tweeted.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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