Senate Finally Reaches Deal; Now, It’s Up To The House

( – After days of tense negotiations and two failed votes, the Senate has finally agreed to an economic stimulus package that is reportedly worth more than $2 trillion.

In the early morning hours of Wednesday — 1 a.m. to be exact — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that Republicans and Democrats had come together to craft the bill aimed to help people and businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

“At last, we have a deal,” he said. “After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic.”

It’s “a war-time level of investment for our nation,” McConnell said, explaining the Senate would work to pass the bill later in the day on Wednesday. The full chamber is scheduled to re-convene at 12 p.m.

Full details of the bill haven’t been released as of yet, but some of the alleged elements include $250 billion for direct payments to families and individuals, $250 billion to support unemployment insurance benefits, $500 billion for distressed companies in the form of loans, and $350 billion for small business loans.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it was “the largest rescue package in America history, and that “This is not a moment of celebration — but of necessity.”

The largest part of the plan that most Americans are interested in is the direct payments they would receive. Again, while final details haven’t been released, the last leaked details revealed individuals earning $75,000 or less in adjusted gross income would get direct payments of $1,200. Married couples earning up to $150,000 would get $2,400. There would also be an additional $500 given for each child a family has.

These direct payments would scale down as a person or family’s income increased, and would phase out completely for individuals earning $99,000 or more, and couples without children who earn $198,000 or more.

Once the Senate officially approves the deal, it will most to the House of Representatives, who will be pressured to pass it quickly so that President Donald Trump can sign it into law. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she doesn’t want to bring the full chamber back to D.C. to vote on the bill, and will see if they can pass it through what’s called “unanimous consent.” All that needs to happen for that to fail, though, is for one member to block it.

The other option for the House would be to approve the stimulus bill by a voice vote instead of doing a recorded roll call vote. Pelosi also said she’s willing to pass the bill this way, but some members of the House could end up requesting the full roll call vote, which would require all members to return to D.C. That may prove challenging, though, as many legislators are hoping to avoid the situation with the coronavirus outbreak ravaging the country.

Let’s hope the House can act swiftly so this economic stimulus package can get to work for Americans.