Chuck Schumer believes ‘we have a deal’ on $450 billion coronavirus relief package

“There is still a few more i’s to dot and t’s to cross, but we have a deal. And I believe we’ll pass it today,” the Senate’s top Democrat told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.”

Despite Schumer’s proclamation, Republicans told CNN Tuesday the deal is close but not at hand yet.

While outstanding concepts may have been agreed to late on Monday night, the actual legislative language has not been finalized yet and sources say there are still several open issues that need to be resolved in the hours ahead.

The Senate has a pro forma session scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, during which senators could pass the legislative package by unanimous consent if those issues are resolved.

Schumer told CNN that he, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin negotiated over the phone “well past midnight” Monday and “came to an agreement on just about every issue.”

Of the $310 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, $125 billion will be sent “exclusively to the unbanked, to the minorities, to the rural areas, and to all of those little mom and pop stores that don’t have a good banking connection and need the help,” Schumer said.

According to Schumer, the deal also includes $30 billion for national coronavirus testing and another $75 billion for hospitals.

What won’t be in the bill, he acknowledged, is more money for states and localities, which Democrats pushed hard for.

“But we did get a commitment from the White House that they would be able to use those funds for lost revenues,” Schumer told CNN.

Schumer said Democrats will fight for more state and localities funding in a separate relief package in the future.

The Trump administration and lawmakers have been under pressure to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program after it ran out of funds last week. The SBA said it had approved over 1.66 million loans for more than $342 billion.
But a main gripe with the program has been that banks prioritized their existing customers and large restaurants, which received millions in loans from the PPP, leaving many small businesses without access to the funds intended to keep their operations afloat.

CNN’s Ted Barrett, Manu Raju, Lauren Fox, Phil Mattingly and CNN Business’ Alicia Wallace contributed to this report.

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