Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday morning that the revised Phase 3 relief package to combat the economic effect of the pandemic is much closer to what the Democrats want and will likely be finalized after review.
She praised the House Democrats for their unity and tenacity in reaching a compromise. She said while the bill did not go as far as the Democrat’s Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, it gets much closer to Democrat’s targets than the original Phase 3 bill.
“America is facing a grave health crisis with a serious impact on our economy. I salute the strong leadership of Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats. I especially thank our House Democratic Committee Chairmen, who worked hard to move the Republican proposal from corporations-focused to workers-first and who will now review the legislative text of this agreement with our Caucus.”
“At last, we have a deal. After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic. We’re going to pass this legislation later today,” Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a tweet early Wednesday night.
The new package would give direct payments of up to $3,000 to most U.S. families and provide some $367 billion to a program for small-business loans to help them keep making payroll as workers are forced to stay home due to orders in several states across the country.
The package also includes a $500 billion fund for guaranteed, subsidized loans to help larger industries, $250 billion for expanded unemployment aid, and $75 billion for hospitals.
“What we need to do is be focusing on the people that have really been affected. That’s the people on small businesses front lines that are sent home with no hope whatsoever and no unemployment compensation. I’m just not in favor of bailing out for the sake of bailing out people that got the greatest tax breaks in the world.” Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said last Thursday.
The Speaker highlighted five amendments to the latest Phase 3 bill she was most pleased with; the large investments in hospitals, securing an increase in unemployment insurance benefits for both laid-off and furloughed workers, large relief for small businesses, emergency education and loan repayment funding, and accountability and oversight for bailouts.
“House Democrats will now review the final provisions and legislative text of the agreement to determine a course of action,” Pelosi said.
The pandemic has killed more than 800 people in the United States and infected more than 55,000 to date, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.