Home / Politics / Pelosi and Schumer push for emergency coronavirus bill with at least $500 billion more in aid

Pelosi and Schumer push for emergency coronavirus bill with at least $500 billion more in aid

On Tuesday, McConnell said he would try to pass the additional small business funding by unanimous consent or voice vote during the Senate’s pro forma session on Thursday. In a statement, he did not mention any other provisions he wants to see in the bill. 

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican and chairman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, said Wednesday that McConnell put forward a unanimous consent agreement to introduce and pass by voice vote a measure to inject $250 billion into the small business program. 

“Any Senator objecting is asked to do so by noon today. Hope for the best,” he wrote in a tweet. 

Any one senator can stop legislation from passing by unanimous consent. The Democratic-held House could also vote down legislation even if the Senate approves it. 

A spokesman for McConnell did not immediately respond to a request to comment on whether the Kentucky Republican would consider adding any of the Democrats’ priorities to the proposal this week. 

In response to the Democrats’ request to fund health care and states, a Trump administration official said “continuing to focus on the need to help small businesses right now would be a help.”

Congress is out of Washington as the pandemic wreaks havoc on the country. The U.S. now has roughly 400,000 COVID-19 cases, and the disease has been linked to at least 12,911 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

It has also devastated the economy. About 10 million people filed new unemployment claims over a two-week period, and the U.S. lost 701,000 jobs in early March — before the biggest wave of business shutdowns. 

The CARES Act passed last month included direct payments to individuals, enhanced unemployment insurance, small business loans, health-care funding and a $500 billion pool of loans and grants for corporations and states.

Pelosi has called for another round of checks to individuals and to extend the unemployment benefits for two more months. 

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