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2020-03-21 — cnn.com

Bipartisan groups of senators worked late into Friday night with top officials from President Donald Trump's administration to lock in a final agreement -- a deal that people directly involved in the negotiations tell CNN could top a cost of $1.5 trillion -- before falling short of a midnight deadline imposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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Negotiators are also working to finalize details of direct payments to individuals and families, a central plank of the Trump administration's proposal, with both sides nearing agreement to expand both the size of the rebate checks and the scope of those eligible to receive them, people involved in the talks told CNN. Specifically, the negotiators have agreed to expand the size of the direct assistance to lower-income individuals and families, the people said.

The way the bill is set to be structured, the combination of the unemployment insurance piece and the direct payments piece are closely intertwined, with both still open for negotiators to work through. Senators appeared close to an agreement on matching the amount of money deployed through direct assistance with the same amount to expand unemployment insurance -- a number set at roughly $250 billion each, the people said.

As a final agreement in principle remained out of reach, the details also remained fluid. "There are still some issues outstanding on the tax and relief to the American people piece," Ueland told reporters.

Work on more than $200 billion for airlines and other distressed large industries, a $300 billion proposal to provide forgivable loans of up to $10 million to small businesses and a surge in spending to aid health care providers all appeared to be close to consensus.

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