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Senate adjourns with plans to meet again Sunday on coronavirus stimulus package

GOP, Democrats debate coronavirus relief bill

The Senate scheduled a vote for Sunday to proceed with the coronavirus stimulus package, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday. The Senate adjourned Saturday afternoon until 2 p.m. Sunday, and they will vote at 3 p.m. on whether to move forward and vote on the final package on Monday. 

Senators continued negotiations over the weekend on the expansive stimulus package. The finalized measure is expected to cost between $1 and $2 trillion, according to Trump administration officials.

McConnell tasked Republican committee chairs to work with their Democratic counterparts to negotiate the package. He told reporters on Saturday that he hoped to take a procedural vote tomorrow, which is needed to bring the legislation to the floor.

"I think we're getting closer and closer to an agreement. And all the discussions have been in good faith," McConnell said.

Speaking on the Senate floor Saturday, McConnell urged his fellow senators to finalize the legislation.

"I am impressed and heartened by the speed and bipartisan spirit that has characterized the past day's discussions. But we need to keep it up. We absolutely cannot let up now. We need to finish up these negotiations and move forward," McConnell said.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland were at the Capitol on Saturday to meet with lawmakers. Kudlow initially told reporters that he expected the legislation to cost more than $2 trillion. He later clarified that the stimulus package itself would cost around $1.4 trillion, and that the rest of the cost would come from loan guarantees through the Exchange Stabilization Fund.

McConnell unveiled a 247-page bill on Thursday which included direct cash payments to most Americans. Democrats have argued the bill as written does not do enough to help workers, and gives too much to certain industries. In a letter to colleagues on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the bill proposed by McConnell a "non-starter."

But Republican Senate Majority Whip John Thune told reporters Saturday that lawmakers agreed on most of the provisions in the proposal.

"There are some loose ends, and there are some policy pieces that still haven't been decided on, but I think in the majors - the outline, the contours, the deal, the major categories - I think there's general agreement," Thune said.

President Trump praised the bipartisan efforts of lawmakers during the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on Saturday, saying it was "a very nice thing to see" Democrats and Republicans "getting along."

"They're getting very close," Mr. Trump said.

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