Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and members of President Trump’s economic team are huddling with lawmakers on Capitol Hill Friday as he continues negotiations with Senate Republicans and Democrats over the massive, $1 trillion-plus stimulus package amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Mnuchin and Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow were meeting with Senate leaders behind closed doors to discuss the latest GOP draft legislation rolled out Thursday by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who hopes to work through the weekend to solidify a plan.
MCCONNELL’S CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PLAN WOULD PROVIDE PAYMENTS OF $1200 PER PERSON
McConnell explained Friday that the Senate has broken up into four bipartisan groups to work on different aspects of the bill.
“I’ve tasked these bipartisan teams to reach an agreement by the end of the day today, midnight,” McConnell said Friday. “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.”
McConnell said that he has received direction from Mnuchin and the administration that the measure should be passed by Monday.
“That gives you a timeline of what we’re working on through the weekend,” McConnell said.
The draft legislation, obtained by Fox News, would provide payments up to $1,200 per person. They would be phased down at adjusted gross income thresholds of $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 per couple. Additionally, there would be $500 payments for each child.
The amount, though, is slated to then be reduced by $5 for each $100 a taxpayer’s income exceeds the legislation’s threshold. The amount is reduced to zero for single taxpayers with incomes exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers.
The legislation also outlined $300 billion for small businesses to keep furloughed and laid-off workers on the payroll and $208 billion in loans to airlines and other industries.
READ REPUBLICANS SECTION-BY-SECTION SUMMARY OF THE BILL
But McConnell currently may not have enough support to push the legislation through at this point. Some Republicans have objected to certain measures outlined in the bill, and most Democrats say the measure does not go far enough.
“We are beginning to review Senator McConnell’s proposal and on first reading, it is not at all pro-worker and instead puts corporations way ahead of workers,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement.
The Democratic leaders said, however, their priority is to “make sure all workers are protected from the loss of a paycheck or that no family falls into financial ruin because of this pandemic.”
Trump, on Wednesday, signed the second coronavirus relief bill into law that provides paid sick leave, unemployment help and free testing to Americans.
The legislation provides 14 days of paid sick days to workers affected by the coronavirus, ensures free testing to everyone, including the uninsured, and expands food aid and boosts unemployment dollars to states.
The House and Senate already passed a bipartisan $8.3 billion package to prop up the health care system to prepare for the influx of sick Americans. The second response bill that was signed into law Wednesday aims to bring relief to workers who lost their jobs and families at home for illnesses, quarantines or caring for kids whose schools have shuttered.
Meanwhile, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mnuchin announced Friday that, at the direction of the president, he had postponed the tax filing day from April 15 to July 15.
As of Friday morning, the U.S. had more than 14,250 confirmed cases of coronavirus in all 50 states, including Washington, D.C. The U.S., so far, has seen 205 COVID-19-related deaths.
Fox News’ Sally Persons, Gregg Re, Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.