McConnell introduces third coronavirus relief proposal

Senate Republicans have reached a deal among themselves on legislation for the third coronavirus funding package amid growing concerns about a widespread outbreak in the United States. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former Trump advisor Bossert says to test the well, not ill; Senate standoff on next relief bill McCarthy slams Democrats on funding for mail-in balloting Harris, Ocasio-Cortez among Democrats calling for recurring direct payments in fourth coronavirus bill MORE (R-Ky.) announced the agreement on the Senate floor, noting that Republicans would begin negotiating with Democrats on Friday.

Sixty votes would be needed to pass a coronavirus bill, meaning it will have to be bipartisan.

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"I'm officially introducing the coronavirus aid relief and economic security act. The legislation takes bold acton on four major priorities that are extremely urgent and very necessary," McConnell said Thursday afternoon.

The nearly 250-page bill includes direct financial help for Americans, relief for small businesses, help for impacted industries like airlines and efforts to bolster the health care system.

Among the direct help for individuals is $1,200 for individuals who make up to $75,000. The caps would be doubled for filers. It also includes an additional $500 for a child. 

“Preventing the spread of the coronavirus will take a financial toll on individuals, families and businesses. These recommendations would blunt the impact for most Americans and limit the damage to the U.S. economy," Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTwo Democrats roll out bill to protect inspectors general from politically motivated firing Trump's IG firings prompt questions of whether more are coming Senate 'unlikely' to return on April 20, top GOP senator says MORE (R-Iowa) said in a statement.

The direct cash assistance, which is backed by Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOvernight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Trump downplays need for widespread testing before reopening economy On The Money: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | More than 6M file for jobless benefits | Fed launches T in economic relief | Dems, Mnuchin in talks over next aid deal MORE, earned fierce pushback among some members of the caucus. But GOP senators indicated that it had too much support to be removed from the package offered by McConnell and other top Republicans.

"This will provide immediate relief to folks who are facing cash flow problems as they stay home to stop the spread," Grassley said from the Senate floor, describing the decision.

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The bill would also delay the deadline to file 2019 taxes from April 15 to July 15.

"While this won’t solve all of the problems our nation is facing overnight, cash payments to middle- and low-income families will provide direct support as quickly as possible. The time to act is now," Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneDurbin: Bringing senators back in two weeks would be 'dangerous and risky' Trump's magical thinking won't stop the coronavirus pandemic Lawmakers brace for more coronavirus legislation after trillion bill MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican. 

The bill also includes $208 billion in loans for major industries that have been impacted by the coronavirus. Republicans dismissed the idea of providing the funding as grants, which wouldn't need to be paid back, amid resistance over the idea of providing a "bail out."  

The $208 billion includes up to $50 billion for airlines, $8 billion for cargo air carriers and $150 billion for "other eligible entities." 

“Let’s be crystal clear about what we are and are not doing here.  We are not bailing out the airlines or other industries – period.  Instead, we are allowing the Treasury Secretary to make or guarantee collateralized loans to industries whose operations the coronavirus outbreak has jeopardized," Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyDemocratic senators call for funding for local media in coronavirus stimulus Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill Five things being discussed for a new coronavirus relief bill MORE (R-Ala.) said in a statement.

The package also includes $300 billion for small businesses. Under the loan structure, the loans would be forgiven if the businesses maintain their payroll. They could also use the loan to cover things like paid sick leave and mortgage payments. 

“America’s more than 30 million small businesses — and the 59.9 million individuals they employ — today face the prospect of going bankrupt. They face this threat due to no fault of their own, but because of a global pandemic that takes human lives and grinds productivity to a halt," Rubio added in a statement. 

The administration has agreed to send a handful of administration officials, including Mnuchin, up to the Capitol starting on Friday to take part in the negotiations. 

"I would invite all of their Democratic counterparts to join us at the table tomorrow. These are urgent discussions. They need to happen at a member level, and they need to happen starting right now," McConnell said from the Senate floor.  

Underscoring the urgency, senators expect that they will work through the weekend to try to negotiate an agreement on the coronavirus package. 

"I might add all Republican senators, whether they are part of this group that I just mentioned or not, have been asked to stay in town. We're here. We're ready to act,"  McConnell added. 

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHarris, Ocasio-Cortez among Democrats calling for recurring direct payments in fourth coronavirus bill House Republicans, key administration officials push for additional funding for coronavirus small business loans Rep. Massie threatens to block next relief bill, calls for remote voting MORE (D-N.Y.) said that Democrats would work with Republicans to come up with a bipartisan bill "as soon as we can." 

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"Because this crisis grows worse every day, and we believe we need a bold plan, a strong plan. Our plan must put workers, millions of workers who are adversely affected by this crisis first," Schumer said from the Senate floor. 

Schumer added that McConnell's plan had "virtually no input from Democrats." 

Updated at 6:38 p.m.