Virus Relief Bill Held Up by GOP Bid to Limit Fed’s Lending Powers
Lawmakers are seeking a compromise over the issue as they try to pass a $900 billion package
WASHINGTON—A Republican push to curtail the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending powers kept congressional leaders from completing a $900 billion coronavirus relief package for a second day Saturday, as lawmakers scrambled to compromise on the late-emerging dispute.
Congressional leaders agreed to the contours of the sweeping relief package earlier this week and have said for days that they were close to finalizing its details. The last-minute fight over the Fed provision from Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) remained an obstacle Saturday evening, as lawmakers worked to see if they could find a compromise.
“Sen. Toomey’s legislation is the only significant hurdle to completing an agreement,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said on the Senate floor Saturday. “It’s about tying the hands of the next Treasury secretary and the next Fed chairman in a true emergency.”
Mr. Toomey and senators from both parties huddled on the floor, and a small group met with Mr. Schumer Saturday afternoon. Messrs. Schumer and Toomey were expected to trade proposals later in the evening, lawmakers said.
“I think we’re getting in a better place,” Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, a member of GOP leadership, said Saturday evening, referring to talks over the Fed provision."