Negotiations for the $900 billion government stimulus package to millions of Americans almost collapsed because of a dispute over Fed emergency powers.
The dispute started when Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, added language to the stimulus bill related to Federal Reserve lending programs implemented earlier in the year.
Specifically, Toomey wanted to close a “loophole” in the CARES Act that would extend and expand the Fed lending plans.
The Fed rolled out a wide-ranging set of emergency loan programs in response to market disruptions in March and April. Congress also provided $454 billion to back up those efforts in the first pandemic stimulus bill from March. Toomey remained concerned that the programs might last past the end of the year.
Toomey said he want…