Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSticking points force stimulus package talks to spill into Sunday Trump needs to stop the daily press briefingsOvernight Health Care: Trump triggers emergency powers in coronavirus fight | McConnell sets first stimulus vote for Sunday | Five sticking points for stimulus talks | Treasury delays tax filing deadline | Dems push insurers to cover virus testsMORE (D-N.Y.) said on Monday that congressional leaders and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinDemocrats block McConnell from holding Monday morning vote on coronavirus billMcConnell rips Democrats for blocking coronavirus stimulus packageCoronavirus stimulus talks hit setback as crisis deepensMORE would reach a deal on a massive coronavirus stimulus package later in the day.
“We’re very close to reaching a deal, very close, and our goal is to reach a deal today, and we’re hopeful, even confident that we will meet that goal,” Schumer said from the Senate floor.
Schumer and Mnuchin met a least seven times on Sunday, and restarted negotiations around 9 a.m. on Monday.
But Schumer said that there were still a “few outstanding issues,” including hundreds of billions in aid to corporations that Democrats are calling a “slush fund.” Democrats have also pointed to a provision they say would let Mnuchin authorize loans or grants but not disclose the recipients for six months.
Democrats late Sunday blocked the stimulus package from moving forward in the Senate.
“The bill still includes something that most Americans don’t want to see. Large corporate bailouts with almost no strings attached,” Schumer said on Monday.
Schumer’s comments come after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCoronavirus stimulus talks roll into Monday as negotiators fail to clinch dealDemocrats block McConnell from holding Monday morning vote on coronavirus billMcConnell sets second coronavirus vote for shortly after markets open MORE (R-Ky.) lashed out at Democrats from the floor.
“This body can’t get its act together. And the only reason it can’t get its act together is right over here on the other side of the aisle,” McConnell said.
Tensions were running high in the Senate on Monday, as Democrats temporarily blocked Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsRand Paul’s coronavirus diagnosis sends shockwaves through SenateSmall-business rescue package expected to swell to 0 billion or moreNRSC outraises DSCC in FebruaryMORE (R-Maine) from speaking from the floor as they tried to get clarity on what the chamber’s schedule. Collins called the tactics “unbelievable.”
The back-and-forth on the floor comes as Schumer and Mnuchin have signaled they are closer to a deal. Mnuchin told reporters that he expects a deal and a “big vote” on Monday.
Schumer added that he expected to “conclude negotiations today.”
“The negotiations continue no more than 30 feet away from the floor of the Senate in our offices where the real progress is taking place. Once we have an agreement that everyone can get behind, we’re prepared to speed up the consideration of that agreement on the floor,” Schumer added.