Democrats Push For More Unemployment Insurance, Added Support for Hospitals In Coronavirus Stimulus Package

As Congress and the Trump administration race to hammer out an agreement on a massive stimulus package to boost the economy in the wake of economic downturn from the novel coronavirus pandemic, Democrats have been given a seat at the negotiating table to lay out their desired changes.

Among them is the push for President Donald Trump to declare a Marshall Plan for medical facilities across the country to provide equipment and aid; stipulations for any large corporations who receive loans from the government; cancel all student loan debt—not suspend, as Trump did on Friday; and expand unemployment insurance and paid sick and family leave.

“There is nothing in [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s] bill to help hospitals. Now, we’re told we may do it in a supplemental later. Later is no good,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the floor. “We need a Marshall Plan for hospitals right now, and we need local governments that are also on the front lines to get dollars in their pockets. Many of them will go broke.”

The more than $1 trillion stimulus has been outlined in 247 pages by Senate Republicans, who consulted with White House officials in recent days. Under that plan, which will be changed as talks play out on Friday, many Americans would receive a $1,200 tax rebate check.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to reporters before a meeting with a select group of Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, and Trump administration officials in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 20 in Washington, DC. The small group of lawmakers and officials are in negotiations about the phase 3 coronavirus stimulus bill, which leaders say they hope to have passed by Monday.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty

Now, the measure must be negotiated among White House officials and congressional leaders from both parties.