Congressional rescue talks churn as crisis deepens

Posted at 7:30 PM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 23:50:53-04

WASHINGTON — The latest economic rescue package being negotiated in Washington is now nearly $2 trillion.

But the Senate has yet to agree on the parameters of the package, voting against advancing the measure to a full vote.

Talks were continuing Sunday night on Capitol Hill with the goal a new vote on Monday.

Democrats say the draft package is insufficient in the face of economic havoc from the coronavirus, arguing that it is tilted toward corporations and does too little to help workers and health care providers.

President Donald Trump weighed in earlier in the day, saying “it's not very complicated” and that workers must be helped and companies saved.

Additionally, futures for U.S. stocks fell sharply at the start of trading Sunday as investors watch to see if Congress can agree on a huge rescue package to try to stem the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Futures for the S&P 500 fell by 5%, triggering a halt in futures trading.

Wall Street is coming off its worst week since 2008. The S&P 500 fell 15% as large swaths of the U.S. economy shut down and investors waited for Washington to deliver financial support for American workers and battered industries such as airlines and hotels. Democrats have argued the package was tilted toward corporations rather than workers and healthcare providers, so negotiations are ongoing.

Oil prices also tumbled as the broad global economic slowdown threatens demand for energy. The price of U.S. oil fell 6% to $21.26 a barrel, while the international benchmark dropped 7% to $25.10