Sen. Shelley Moore Capito: Congress providing 'wartime funding' to defeat COVID-19

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The stimulus package Congress is providing to the American people is considered "wartime funding" in the battle against the deadly coronavirus, West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito explained Wednesday.

Appearing on "America's Newsroom" with host Sandra Smith, Moore Capito said that Democrats and Republicans reached a deal after midnight on Wednesday due to pressure on her liberal colleagues from hospitals, county commissions and state governors.

"The urgency of the package that we have been working on, that is very similar to what the package they agreed to ... would have provided that three or four days ago," she said. "But we are where we are."

"They have finally said 'yes' and I think we're ready to push the money out to help our constituents but also to help our employers keep people working, worker's compensation, our hospitals, our cities and counties, and many others," Moore Capito remarked. "So, this is very good news."


The historic $2 trillion deal reached in the Senate shortly after midnight on Wednesday was described by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as "unemployment compensation on steroids" which would enable companies to stay afloat and immediately bring back those employees when things are safe.

In addition, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered something of a tepid endorsement of the agreement after previously pushing for her own legislation.

The bipartisan breakthrough capped days of heated negotiations that had nearly been derailed by last-minute demands from House Democrats.

The unprecedented economic rescue package would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.

"Well, I think it is a very big and broad -- as you heard Leader McConnell say -- the largest rescue package that's ever come forward," Moore Capito stated.

"We are in a war against an invisible enemy: this COVID virus. And so, this is wartime funding. This is disaster funding that is big and broad. And, hopefully, [it] will give us the economic stability and also the supplies for our health workers and care for our health workers to stabilize the situation while we move through these very difficult weeks."


Although the senator said Pelosi had "better doggone pass" the bill Wednesday after several days with "political agendas at the forefront," the House of Representatives is not expected to reconvene until 11 a.m. ET on Thursday.

Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol that she was "optimistic," but that the Senate would vote first.

Fox News' Gregg Re, Chad Pergram, Caroline McKee, and John Roberts, as well as The Associated Press, contributed to this report.