WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — After days of tense debate, Republican and Democratic leaders have agreed on a $2 trillion aid package for families and businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“This Senate stepped up,” Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, said.
Wednesday, Senate Republicans, Democrats and the White House broke their own gridlock by announcing a deal to bring families relief.
“We knew we had to because the need is that great,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
Durbin says the now $2 trillion emergency aid package was worth the fight.
“We have dramatically changed this package,” Durbin said.
The negotiated plan maintains $1,200 direct payments to Americans but dramatically boosts unemployment benefits by $600 dollars a week for up to four months.
Freelance workers are also eligible.
“This is about helping our workers keep their jobs,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said.
Grassley says the plan also sets aside $350 billion in small businesses loans — something vital to states like his, made up almost entirely of small businesses.
“Now it’s time to vote on this bill to deliver relief for the American people,” Grassley said.
And the plan doesn’t just tackle the economy. If passed, hospitals and other health care agencies would receive billions to tackle the virus.
“We’re providing them the resources to go to work,” Dublin said.
“Help is on the way,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
Schumer says he’s confident Senate Democrats will back the deal.
But already some republicans are raising red flags they say need to be fixed before a vote is called.