US senators and Trump administration officials have reached an agreement on a massive economic stimulus bill to alleviate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, White House official Eric Ueland said early on Wednesday.
The sudden movement on the legislation occurred after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that Republicans and Democrats had seemed close to bridging disagreements that had previously stalled the package.
The deal also includes "strict oversight, accountability and transparency" of all loans to "corporate America" enabled by the legislation, he said. "We are a country not based on nationalizing our business", said Trump, who has repeatedly railed against socialism overseas and among Democrats.
After days of vicious partisan infighting over what to include, in what ultimately may be the largest emergency rescue package lawmakers have ever passed, optimism remained that the package could still pass.
"We're on the 5-yard line".
"The longer it takes, the harder it will be to start up our economy", he wrote.
The House Democratic proposal does not contain the "Green New Deal", as Trump's tweet suggested, but it does call for airlines that take federal aid to reduce their overall carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050.
Democrats rejected the original Republican package, arguing it put corporations ahead of workers, including health professionals on the front lines of the battle against a pandemic that has infected 55,000 people and killed almost 800 in the USA alone.
Pelosi said Republicans had agreed to for an inspector general and a congressional panel of five people to oversee the aid given to businesses out of the Treasury's $500 billion loan programme for distressed industries.
"[The Democrats said] "We want green energy, let's stop drilling oil" - they had things in there that were awful", Trump said. Concerns from Democrats about the oversight of the $500 billion fund had been a sticking point over the past few days.
With the clock ticking, no vote has been scheduled yet in the Senate.
Mnuchin had shuttled between the Capitol offices of the Senate's leaders as they and staffers hammered out the language of the bill.
"If we get this package, we'll be setting the stage for a good rebound in the second half of the year", said Larry Kudlow, the White House's top economic adviser. His suggestion that the pandemic could ease and allow a return to normalcy in a mere few weeks is not supported by public health officials or many others in government.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. The president has insisted that the economy cannot be in shutdown mode for a lengthy period of time, despite concerns from epidemiologists that sending people back to work could prolong the public health crisis and toll from the virus.