COVID-19 Legislative Update - 3-24-2020
Policy Resolution Group COVID-19 Legislative Update March 24, 2020 The Red Zone
Tuesday looks to be a make or break day for the current iterations of a Phase Three deal. Right now all signs indicate the Senate will move swiftly and the House follow suit. However, at the time of this update, a few points remain under negotiation and the text of any legislation needs to be finalized. • Signs of a Deal. o Schumer. Following the sixth meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at midnight, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said “we expect to have an agreement tomorrow morning. There are still a few little differences. Neither of us think they are in any way going to get in the way of a final agreement.” o Mnuchin. Mnuchin similarly expressed optimism, saying on Monday night, “I think we've made a lot of progress…There's still a couple of open issues, but I think we're very hopeful that this can be closed out" in the next day.” o Pelosi. This morning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) signaled satisfaction with the direction of the package saying , “we think the bill has moved sufficiently to the side of workers.” The Speaker took credit for securing oversight on the “$500 billion slush fund,” asserting that the Senate adopted language from her bill. This is Pelosi signaling surrender, but with a triumphant flourish. o Trump. President Donald Trump this morning added urgency to negotiations by tweeting , “Congress must approve the deal, without all of the nonsense, today. The longer it takes, the harder it will be to start up our economy. Our workers will be hurt!” This is a notable reversal from a late night Trump tweet reacting to the House alternative Phase Three package. Progressive provisions in the Pelosi bill make for a useful foil, and their inevitable omission allows Trump and Republicans to claim victory. • McConnell Draws a Line. o Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave a blistering speech on the floor of the Senate last night, saying that time is up and that Congress must pass the bill as soon as possible.
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