Schumer: Government will pay four months of full salary for furloughed workers in stimulus proposal

The federal government will pay the full salaries of furloughed workers who make average wages for up to four months under an emerging stimulus deal expected to get a vote as soon as Tuesday.

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTexas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing COVID-19, Bill Barr and the American authoritarian tradition MORE (N.Y.), who is negotiating the agreement with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinSunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on Struggling states warn coronavirus stimulus falls short Trump asserts power to decide what info inspector general gives Congress about stimulus package MORE, called the bipartisan agreement on unemployment benefits as “unemployment insurance on steroids.”

The proposal would allow furloughed workers to continue to collect health benefits from employers and a salary from the government.

ADVERTISEMENT

“You can keep getting them, but, and most importantly, the federal government will pay your salary, your full salary for now four months,” Schumer said on the floor.

“We had asked for four months, and four months looks like what we’re going to get when we come this agreement,” he added.

A Democratic aide familiar with the proposal said that it would expand unemployment benefits by $600 per week for four months, in addition to what states would provide as base salary compensation. For the average worker, adding the $600 per week would amount to 100 percent of wages.

Schumer also said he believed a deal was imminent, describing negotiators as being on the 2-yard line after they were on the 5-yard line on Monday.

He said there are a few outstanding issues but predicted, “I don’t see any that can’t be overcome within the next few hours.”

Republicans over the weekend proposed three months of beefed-up unemployment benefits.

ADVERTISEMENT

The assistance will apply to nonprofit and government workers in addition to private-sector employees, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

Schumer said Democrats are also pleased with funding for hospitals, which sources say will be $100 billion, and an inspector general and oversight board for a $500 billion corporate credit program that will be run by the Treasury Department and allow the Federal Reserve to inject more than $4 trillion into the economy and credit markets.

“We all know there was a load of dissatisfaction with TARP,” he said, referring to the controversial Troubled Asset Relief Program Congress set up during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. 

Markets are up Tuesday on the news that a deal in the Senate could be imminent.

Updated: 9:30 p.m.