Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that “at the moment, the McConnell bill is inadequate,” in remarks on the Senate floor Friday.
Schumer added that “We need to work with uncommon speed and make this next bill what it needs to be… Democrats are already at work with our Republican colleagues to get this done.”
Schumer said he spoke with President Trump earlier today and urged him to deploy the Defense Production Act among other things, to which he said, Trump agreed to do so.
“I spoke with President Trump about these five priorities. I mentioned them all and President Trump told me he was open to these ideas. In fact, the president explicitly told me he would oppose companies using bailout money on buybacks, even though such a prohibition is not in McConnell’s bill. I also urged the President to immediately deploy the Defense Production Act and harness industry to get ventilators and other critically needed medical equipment to those who need it. He told me he would do so,” Schumer said.
The legislation in question: The emergency economic aid proposal would include direct payments to Americans under a certain income threshold, $200 billion in loans to airlines and distressed industry sectors and $300 billion in forgivable bridge loans for small businesses.
The proposal’s formal rollout sets the stage for Republicans and Democrats to try to reach a bipartisan agreement to move a stimulus package forward as the virus continues to spread.