U.S. politicians near deal with White House on coronavirus aid bill

Trump signs $8.3bn emergency funding package to fight COVID-19

With so much at stake, Democrats and the White House are wrestling over two initiatives to help workers directly impacted by the coronavirus.

The top House and Senate law enforcement officials announced Thursday that there would be a temporary closures of all tours of the Capitol.

Pelosi has been in consultation with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in negotiations over the package.

So, rather than waiting out the Pelosi-Mnuchin talks, the Senate voted at 1:45 p.m.to confirm a GOP nominee to an energy commission and left town.

Even if it passes the House Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled his opposition to the Families First measure.

"We're close to a deal".

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is being brought to the floor less than 24 hours after Democratic leaders unveiled the legislation, a stunningly swift turnaround that indicates Congress' alarm about an emergency that has so far claimed 38 lives in the USA, roiled the stock market, prompted a ban on travel from Europe and forced the suspension of the National Basketball Association season.

"Let them look at it, let us get together and put the very best ideas together".

"I do believe that it is critical we get a small portion of this done right now".

"So, you know, it's not a way for them to get some of the goodies that they haven't been able to get for the last 25 years", he said.

Politico reports: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Republican lawmakers on a conference call Thursday morning that the GOP is going to oppose the Democratic coronavirus bill as now constructed, according to sources on the call.Democrats will likely to be able to pass the bill in the House, but the Republican opposition is a blow to hopes for bipartisanship, and could be a harbinger for how Senate Republicans and the White House will view the bill.

"I don't think we would wait until there's a signed bill", Pelosi continued.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Republican-controlled Senate have been at odds over the legislation.

"He has some suggestions that we are going to evaluate to see whether these are things that we are going to agree on", McGovern said.

But as Trump takes aim at the House Speaker via Twitter, the Californian is moving forward today with an expansive legislative package.

The bill is being considered a week after Congress passed an $8.3 billion package that includes more than $3 billion for research and the development of vaccines and $2.2 billion that will help in prevention, preparedness and response.

On Wednesday night, Democrats released a legislative package that would provide support to families affected by the pandemic, including paid sick leave, free testing and funding increases to food security programs.

McCarthy says he thinks Congress should stay in session until a bill to respond to economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic is approved.

He said that the White House, Republicans and the speaker's office were working together and that lawmakers should postpone their recess by 24 to 48 hours in order to reach a deal.



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