McConnell sets Friday night deadline for bipartisan deal on stimulus

McConnell sets Friday night deadline for bipartisan deal on stimulus
© Bonnie Cash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans 13 things to know for today about coronavirus MORE (R-Ky.) is pushing an aggressive schedule, asking Republican and Democratic negotiators who met Friday morning in the Hart Senate Office Building to reach an agreement in principle on a $1 trillion stimulus package by the end of the day.

“I’ve tasked these bipartisan teams to reach an agreement by the end of the day today, midnight,” the GOP leader told reporters after convening the first round of bipartisan talks.

McConnell said he hopes to draft the legislation on Saturday and begin moving immediately to set up the procedure for a Monday vote on the bill, which would then need to go to the House before reaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves MORE’s desk.

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“We’ll need Saturday to be drafting what we can agree to, and because of the procedural hurdles you have to jump through in the Senate, tomorrow I’ll need to file cloture on the motion to proceed to a shell,” McConnell told reporters.

It’s an ambitious timeline, as Democrats have already panned the Senate GOP plan released Thursday as too focused on business and not doing enough to help workers. It does not include the massive expansion of unemployment benefits that Democrats have called for.

“We are beginning to review Sen. McConnell’s proposal and on first reading, it is not at all pro-worker and instead puts corporations way ahead of workers,” Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump says he opposes mail-in voting for November On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans The bipartisan neutering of the Congressional Budget Office MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Schumer doubles down in call for Trump to name coronavirus supply czar Trump lashes out at Schumer over call for supply czar MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement issued Thursday evening.

White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland emphasized the pressure on bipartisan negotiators to reach a deal quickly.

“We’re going to spend the next several hours working to drive a bipartisan agreement,” he told reporters outside the meeting room. “The need for urgency has been pressed repeatedly by the president and [Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinBank executives sought guidance on small business loan program from Ivanka Trump: report Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves Confusion surrounds launch of 9B in small-business loans MORE] and we’re going to work very hard to be incredibly nimble, quite quick — again so that we’re in a position for results and relief to be delivered to the American people as fast as possible.”

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Ueland said the White House is “very supportive” of the Senate GOP package but added the administration wants “clarification” and “refinement” on several points in the plan.

The Republican and Democratic negotiators broke into four groups to work on the major components of the GOP stimulus plan: rebates and tax breaks to help the broader economy, a rescue package for small businesses, health care issues and targeted relief for the industries hardest hit by the crisis. 

The GOP negotiators are Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSticking points force stimulus package talks to spill into Sunday GOP drafting stimulus package without deal with Democrats Senate coronavirus stimulus talks spill into Saturday MORE (Tenn.), Banking Committee Chairman Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoLobbying blitz yields wins for airlines, corporations, banks, unions Stimulus empowers Treasury to rescue airlines with billion in direct assistance White House, Senate reach deal on trillion stimulus package MORE (Idaho), Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyLawmakers press IRS to get coronavirus checks to seniors Pelosi floats undoing SALT deduction cap in next coronavirus bill Democrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus MORE (Iowa), Commerce Committee Chairman Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerBottom Line Stimulus empowers Treasury to rescue airlines with billion in direct assistance White House, Senate reach deal on trillion stimulus package MORE (Miss.), Small Business Committee Chairman Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioConfusion surrounds launch of 9B in small-business loans Trump officials report billions in small business loans on first day of program Miami Herald: Citadel Securities has set up shop in Palm Beach Four Seasons amid NY outbreak MORE (Fla.), Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP senators begin informal talks on new coronavirus stimulus GOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus MORE (Maine), Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanGOP senator to donate 2 months of salary in coronavirus fight Senators pen op-ed calling for remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Some Democrats growing antsy as Senate talks drag on MORE (Ohio) and Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (Pa.).

The Democratic negotiators are Sens. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: Stimulus bill has .5B for Pentagon | Money would be blocked from border wall | Esper orders 60-day freeze for overseas troop movements Senate panel switches to 'paper hearings' amid coronavirus pandemic Rand Paul's coronavirus diagnosis sends shockwaves through Senate MORE (R.I.), the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee; Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus Democrats say more unemployment benefits needed in wake of record unemployment claims Democrats fear coronavirus impact on November turnout MORE (Ore.), the ranking member on the Finance Committee; Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellMcConnell sets Friday night deadline for bipartisan deal on stimulus Washington state lawmakers warn health workers running low on protective gear Carper staffer tests positive in Delaware MORE (Wash.), the ranking member on the Commerce Committee; Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezHillicon Valley: Facebook launches portal for coronavirus information | EU sees spike in Russian misinformation on outbreak | Senate Dem bill would encourage mail-in voting | Lawmakers question safety of Google virus website Democratic senators press Google over privacy of coronavirus screening site Menendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees MORE (N.J.), the ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee; Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinDemocratic senator asks Pompeo to stop saying 'Wuhan virus' Small-business rescue package expected to swell to 0 billion or more McConnell sets Friday night deadline for bipartisan deal on stimulus MORE (Md.), the ranking member on the Small Business Committee, Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowCoronavirus crisis scrambles 2020 political calculus Coronavirus stimulus talks hit setback as crisis deepens Democrats call for stimulus to boost Social Security benefits by 0 a month MORE (Mich.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenWho should be the Democratic vice presidential candidate? McConnell sets Friday night deadline for bipartisan deal on stimulus American citizen released from Lebanese prison, returning to US MORE (N.H.), Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus Senator Tom Coburn's government oversight legacy Democratic lawmakers demand government stop deporting unaccompanied children MORE (Ill.) and Schumer.