The White House and Senate leaders reached a deal early Wednesday on a massive $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to combat the economic impact of the outbreak.
“At last we have a deal,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said around 1:37 a.m. ET from the floor of the Senate.
“In effect, this is a war-time level of investment into our nation,” McConnell said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “This is not a moment of celebration but one of necessity.”
McConnell said the Senate will vote and pass the legislation later Wednesday. The full text of the bill has not yet been released.
One of the key issues in negotiations was the terms of the airline aid and oversight that comes with it, two people familiar with the situation told CNBC. Democrats have pushed for a number of stipulations along with aid to the industry, including longterm bans on stock buybacks, limits on executive compensation, commitments not to furlough workers and board representation.
President Donald Trump stressed in a press conference Tuesday that the money the U.S. lends “will be coming back” to it. The airlines have pushed for half of their aid in grants, arguing debt from loans would be too onerous.
One of the sources said there continued to be questions around oversight of the $500 billion funds that Republicans have proposed to support distressed companies. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the Federal Reserve could leverage the loans in the fund to offer up to $4 trillion in financing. The mechanics, though, are still in question, said the source.
Democrats, still angry over the leeway banks got in the 2008 bank bailout, have argued the fund gives the Treasury too much discretion. One option being considered is a weekly check-in with companies borrowing from the fund, the source said.
Still, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow all spoke optimistically about the fund Tuesday. They said there are plans to add more oversight to that fund, with the addition of an oversight board and an inspector general.
“It will be completely transparent,” Kudlow said at a coronavirus task force briefing Tuesday at the White House.
Schumer had earlier in the day indicated in a speech on the Senate floor the fund was a key focus for Democrats.
Still, the two parties have worked already worked through a number of disagreements.
For the Democrats, that includes securing more funding for hospitals, and a state and local stimulus fund as part of their “Marshall Plan.” Schumer touted on the Senate floor unemployment insurance on steroids, which promised beneficiaries insurance for four months.
A draft bill from early Tuesday afternoon has had language stipulating a $350 billion fund for small businesses to mitigate layoffs and support payroll.
It also offered cash payments of up to $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for married couples and $500 per child. Those amounts are reduced if an individual makes more than $75,000 or a couple makes more than $150,000.