On Tuesday, Republicans faced the added challenge of coming to terms with their own president on the details of their legislation.
Mr. McConnell did not say whether the education aid in his bill would be conditioned on schools holding in-person classes in the fall, in line with President Trump’s demands, and made no mention of a payroll tax cut that the president has pressed to include, which has little support in either party. Nor did he mention how his proposal would address the expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits set to expire at the end of July, which Republicans have made clear they intend to scale back.
Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, and Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, were to attend a party luncheon and then meet with leading Democrats, who have already laid out their own, far more expansive, $3 trillion plan.
Speaking with House Democrats Tuesday morning on a private call, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she hoped their side could resolve its differences with Republicans and produce a bill by the end of next week, according to an official on the call who described it on the condition of anonymity.
Pharmaceutical executives tell Congress a vaccine might be ready within six months.
Executives from four companies in the race to produce a coronavirus vaccine told lawmakers on Tuesday that they are optimistic their products could be ready by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021. All four companies — AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Therapeutics and Pfizer — are testing proprietary vaccines in various phases of human clinical trials.
“We would hope in the fall or towards the end of the year we have data that we could submit to the FDA for them to make a determination on whether to approve it,” said Dr. Stephen Hoge, the president of Moderna. He added, “We would also hope at that point to have millions of doses of vaccine available for deployment.”
Three of the firms have received federal government funding for their vaccine development efforts. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, two of the recipients, pledged to the lawmakers that they would produce hundreds of millions of doses of their vaccines at no profit to themselves. Moderna, however, which has received $483 million from the government for its coronavirus research, said it would not be selling its vaccine at cost.