Senate Leaders Clear Last Hurdle on Covid-19 Package – Senators reached an agreement on the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending powers late Saturday, clearing the last major hurdle on a $900 billion coronavirus-relief package, according to aides from both parties.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) were finishing details on a compromise Saturday night. Under the deal, the central bank would retain its ability to set up emergency lending programs without congressional approval. But it would face a narrower constraint: The Fed wouldn’t be able to replicate programs identical to the ones it started in March at the beginning of the pandemic without the approval of Congress.
Mr. Schumer told reporters he thought both the House and Senate would be able to vote Sunday on the relief bill, which is expected to be combined with a spending bill needed to avoid a partial government shutdown. The government’s current funding expires at 12:01 a.m. Monday.
“It looks like we’ll be able to. If things continue on this path and nothing gets in the way, we’ll be able to vote tomorrow,” Mr. Schumer said late Saturday night. With the dispute over the Fed provision resolved, a final agreement on the full coronavirus relief package was significantly closer, a senior Democratic aide said late Saturday.