In comments on the floor of the upper chamber, the Senate leader offered few details on the bill.
The comment came just a day after President Donald Trump and others called on Congress to send direct payments of $1,200.
“Why isn’t Congress giving our people a Stimulus Bill?” the president asked Dec. 19. “It wasn’t their fault, it was the fault of China,” he added, referring to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which caused a worldwide pandemic. “GET IT DONE, and give them more money in direct payments.”
“It’s a little more specific this time in that the business has to be fewer than 300 employees, and they have to actually show a loss,” he said.
Last week, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said he worked with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to include $1,200 stimulus payments in the package, but it appears to have been rejected.
Hawley noted on Twitter that he was “assured by Senate GOP leadership that #COVID direct assistance to working people IS in the #covid relief bill under negotiation & will remain. And on that basis, I will consent to a brief continuing resolution to allow negotiations to conclude.”
He added, “I will continue to fight for $1200/ person and $500 (min) for kids for working families.”
The bill leaves out two of the most controversial elements in the negotiations: legal protections for businesses from coronavirus lawsuits, which had been sought by Republicans, and the substantial aid for state and local governments advocated by Democrats.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) previously told reporters that Congress would take up further relief next year.
“This bill will not be the final word on congressional COVID relief,” he stated on the Senate floor.