Senate weighs emergency spending amid outbreak; administration urges more
FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Capitol dome and U.S. Senate (R) in Washington, August 2, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Tuesday prepared to weigh a multibillion-dollar emergency spending bill passed by the House of Representatives offering some economic relief from the coronavirus outbreak as the Trump administration pressed for billions more.
The House over the weekend passed a measure that would require sick leave for some workers and expand unemployment compensation among other steps, including nearly $1 billion in additional money to help feed children, homebound senior citizens and others.
The Trump administration wants massive additional spending to help blunt the impact of the fast-spreading disease, which has sunk global financial markets and caused sweeping disruptions to the U.S. economy.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin later on Tuesday planned to discuss the $850 billion stimulus package the administration wants when he meets with Senate Republicans at the Capitol, the Washington Post reported, citing four unnamed officials familiar with the plan.
That plan would use payroll taxes or other mechanisms to flood the economy with cash, and likely include aid for airlines, the Post reported.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton, in a syndicated radio interview, said on Tuesday lawmakers could pass the House measure as-is and then take on another bill to include more economic stimulus actions desired by the administration.
Reporting by Susan Heavey; editing by John Stonestreet and Bernadette Baum