WASHINGTON — The coronavirus aid bill is expected to bring tens of billions of dollars to New York through cash payments to individuals and families, unemployment checks, small business loans and more than $10 billion for state government agencies, a source close to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday.
But the aid package is expected to drop the two most contentious measures that have stymied negotiators: Democrats’ demand for funding state and local governments, territories and tribes, and Republicans’ insistence on employer immunity against coronavirus lawsuits.
If that does not change, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will continue to face a large hole in his budget, despite an estimate of more than $10 billion through other streams of funding in the aid package, including $6 billion for education and $4 billion for the MTA.
Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said he is "devastated" by the lack of state and local government funding and the negative impact that will have and that he will continue working through the moderate Problem Solvers Caucus to get the needed funding.
"I recognize, however, that too many people are suffering right now and there are many other important provisions in this compromise," he said in a statement. "We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good."
Other funds expected to stream through the state and local governments include money for vaccination distribution, COVID-19 health costs, contact tracing and emergency rental assistance, the source said.
The final deal is expected also to include billions of dollars for New Yorkers, much of it in the form of direct economic impact payments of $600 to individuals and more to families with children, as well as unemployment insurance with a $300 bonus.
Those amounts offer about half the amount made available in the CARES Act enacted in March, and are likely to make into the bill because of the support for them from President Donald Trump and progressive House Democrats.
Billions of dollars also will be available for small businesses and restaurants in another round of the popular Paycheck Protection Program, which offers low-interest and forgivable loans through banks and other financial institutions.
The final version could be agreed upon as soon as late Wednesday.
For the past two days, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has hosted the negotiations among the top four congressional leaders: Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Schumer, and Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
The four leaders have increasingly expressed optimism that they will reach a deal as they face a deadline of Friday, when funding runs out for the federal government.
Pelosi and McConnell have said they intend to include the $900 billion relief bill into an omnibus bill that also includes $1.4 trillion in spending to keep the federal government running until the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2021.