Schumer seeks to avoid last-minute changes to pass coronavirus bill: report

Schumer seeks to avoid last-minute changes to pass coronavirus bill: report
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act To Win 2022: Go big on reconciliation and invest in Latinx voters McConnell-aligned group targeting Kelly, Cortez Masto and Hassan with M ad campaign MORE (D-N.Y.) is seeking to avoid any last-minute changes to President BidenJoe BidenMcAuliffe holds slim lead over Youngkin in Fox News poll Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, three sources familiar with the talks told Axios.

The sources told the news outlet that Schumer expects the final version of the measure to remain relatively unchanged.

Schumer met with moderate Democratic senators on Thursday morning, who pushed for several changes to the bill including more funding for rural hospitals and broadband, and extending unemployment benefits, Axios reported. 

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After the meeting, the majority leader told Axios, “They have some ideas and we are going to check them out,” but declined to say if any of the lawmakers suggested lowering the $1.9 trillion price tag.

Schumer’s office didn’t immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.

The report comes as Democrats inch closer to passing Biden’s much-anticipated relief bill, which will be up for a vote on the House floor on Friday.

Schumer previously warned Senate Democrats in a conference call that they needed to stay completely unified as the bill heads to final passage.

Democrats faced a setback on Thursday, however, after Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour goes against the upper chamber’s budget reconciliation process — which allows the measure to pass with a simple majority.

The ruling likely boosted the bill’s overall chances of passing, given that moderate Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Schumer, McConnell headed for another collision over voting rights Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Climate divides conservative Democrats in reconciliation push MORE (W.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaOn The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Climate divides conservative Democrats in reconciliation push Pelosi on addressing climate through reconciliation package: 'This is our moment' MORE (Ariz.) have publicly opposed including the minimum wage boost in the package.

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCongress is hell-bent on a spooky spending spree  Pelosi on addressing climate through reconciliation package: 'This is our moment' House progressives lay out priorities for spending negotiations MORE (D-Calif.) said after the ruling that the measure will be included in the bill, which would leave it up to the parliamentarian to remove it.