Congress has already passed an initial $8.3 billion package of funding for the government health agencies responding to the novel coronavirus, which Mr. Trump signed earlier this month. On Tuesday night, the White House sent a new $45 billion request for agencies on the front lines. That request included an additional $8.3 billion for the Defense Department; $5.3 billion for the emergency preparedness and response agency at the Department of Health and Human Services; and $13.1 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs to cover health care treatment costs, testing kits, temporary intensive care unit beds and personal protective equipment.
In a move that could complicate matters, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants were working on their own proposals for a larger stabilization package that would most likely be different from the Senate’s. In a statement on Tuesday, Ms. Pelosi said her caucus was “working to advance additional steps to expand the emergency leave mandate,” among other new provisions.
Senate Democratic leaders have put forward their own $750 billion plan and would have to lend at least some support to any package for it to pass the Senate. Other Democrats in the chamber, including several former candidates for the presidential nomination, have proposed providing larger and recurring direct payments for every American to stave off economic malaise.
“The proposal has four main priorities: public health capacity, unemployment insurance, paid sick leave and priority treatment for labor in any bailout to industry,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said of his proposal. “There are many things in this bill that are important, like no payment on student loans or mortgages, help with our mass transit systems — there are many things — and Democrats are going to fight for them in the next phase of response.”
Senate Republicans have resisted the relief package that passed the House, which was negotiated by Ms. Pelosi of California and Mr. Mnuchin, largely because of provisions that would allow some workers affected by the spread of the coronavirus to receive paid sick leave.
The House on Monday substantially scaled back the scope of the paid leave provisions as part of an agreed-upon package that passed quietly without a formal vote in the chamber. But some Republicans continued to voice concerns that the federal mandate would prompt employers who cannot afford paid leave to pre-emptively terminate their employees or deprive the country of essential workers.
The Senate on Wednesday rejected a proposal by Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, to offset the new spending, in part by ending American military involvement in Afghanistan. Another group of Republican senators, led by Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, tried to strike the provisions establishing federally mandated paid sick leave and replace it with unemployment compensation. It was also expected to fail.