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    WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Washington negotiators continued to reach for a long-delayed agreement on COVID-19 relief on Monday, but rank-and-file Democrats appeared increasingly resigned to having to drop, for now, a scaled-back demand for fiscal relief for states and local governments whose budgets have been thrown out of balance by the pandemic. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin by phone Monday evening and continues to press for help for struggling states and localities. But top Democratic allies of President-elect Joe Biden came out in support of a $748 billion plan offered by a bipartisan group of lawmakers and hinted they won’t insist on a pitched battle for state and local aid now. “We cannot afford to wait any longer to act. This should not be Congress’ last COVID relief bill, but it is a strong compromise that deserves support from both Republicans and Democrats in...
    By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Washington negotiators continued to reach for a long-delayed agreement on COVID-19 relief on Monday, but rank-and-file Democrats appeared increasingly resigned to having to drop, for now, a scaled-back demand for fiscal relief for states and local governments whose budgets have been thrown out of balance by the pandemic. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin by phone Monday evening and continues to press for help for struggling states and localities. But top Democratic allies of President-elect Joe Biden came out in support of a $748 billion plan offered by a bipartisan group of lawmakers and hinted they won't insist on a pitched battle for state and local aid now. “We cannot afford to wait any longer to act. This should not be Congress’ last COVID relief bill, but it is a strong compromise that deserves support from...
    WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of lawmakers unveiled a detailed COVID-19 aid proposal on Monday in hopes it would serve as a model for its battling leaders to follow as they try to negotiate a final agreement on a new round of virus relief.   The dozen or so lawmakers unveiled two bills. One is a $748 billion aid package containing money for struggling businesses, the unemployed, schools and vaccine distribution. The other bill proposes a $160 billion aid package for state and local governments that is favored by Democrats and GOP-sought provisions shielding businesses from COVID-19-related lawsuits. But agreement proved impossible, and most Democrats opposed a compromise on the liability issue forged by GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio.  The path forward for their proposals — and for COVID-19 aid more generally — remains unclear. Parallel negotiations over virus relief and government funding are proceeding on the leadership level...
    The Senate’s No. 2 Democrat joined lawmakers in both parties in calling on the leadership of the House and Senate to put a compromise coronavirus aid package on the floor for a vote before the end of the year. “There is no excuse for the speaker or the leader, you’ve got to give us a vote,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said in an extraordinary push from one Democratic leader to another across the Capitol. Durbin called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, to drop her monthslong objections to taking up a narrow coronavirus aid package. Democratic leaders had been holding out for a much larger package in the range of $2.2 trillion to $3.7 trillion, with nearly half a trillion for state, local ,and tribal governments. But a rise in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and new lockdowns has ramped up pressure for Congress to...
    WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan group of lawmakers was unveiling a detailed COVID-19 aid proposal Monday as Congress labored toward a final agreement on a new round of virus relief.Progress was being reported on other fronts, too, as lawmakers cobbled together a year-end catchall funding package that will be the basis for the last significant legislation of the Trump presidency.The dozen or so lawmakers sealed agreement on their COVID relief plan over the weekend and decided to offer two bills. One is a $748 billion aid package containing money for struggling businesses, the unemployed, schools, and for vaccine distribution. The other bill proposes a $160 billion aid package for state and local governments and provisions shielding businesses from COVID-related lawsuits, a dynamic favored by Senate Republicans.The path forward for their proposals - and for COVID-19 aid more generally - remains unclear. Parallel negotiations over virus relief and government funding are proceeding...
    Lawmakers are running out of time to pass another coronavirus relief package before Congress adjourns for the holidays. A major point of contention is whether any package will include another round of stimulus checks, the direct cash payments that helped millions of households weather the economic crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  A $908 billion bipartisan proposal would leave out stimulus payments, focusing instead on providing jobless workers with an additional $300 in weekly unemployment aid. On December 8, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also proposed a $916 billion package that would provide stimulus checks worth $600 per person, although it would cut back on unemployment aid, according to the Wall Street Journal.  On December 14 at 4 p.m. EST, the bipartisan coalition of senators will unveil the legislative text for a pair of coronavirus relief bills that aim to provide economic aid to American workers and small businesses.  The bills...
    A group of Senate Democrats and Republicans will announce two coronavirus aid measures on Monday, including a $748 billion package backed by a top Democrat that would provide a new round of coronavirus aid but leave out funding for state, local, and tribal governments Democrats had been seeking. In order to win support from Democrats, the measure excludes robust lawsuit liability protections GOP lawmakers wanted in the bill. The “skinny” aid package may have the best chance for a vote this week, which lawmakers hope will mark the final days of the 2020 legislative session. The bipartisan group also plans to release the text of a $908 billion package that adds in the $160 billion in state, local, and tribal aid as well as a revised lawsuit liability shield. While that measure has the backing of a group of Republicans, it lacks significant support among Democrats due to the...
    Washington (CNN)Democratic leaders are now confronting a crucial decision: Whether to abandon aid for states and cities in order to get a slimmed-down Covid-19 relief deal or whether to make a last-ditch attempt for a bigger plan even if it risks an accord in the final days of the 116th Congress.The decision isn't an easy one for Democrats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have made the battle for aid to states and localities a central part of their rescue packages by arguing that federal dollars will stave off deep job losses to workers who provide vital services, even including $1 trillion in the House-passed Heroes Act in May, a proposal never considered by the Senate.But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear he doesn't think aid for states and cities could win the backing of the Senate, with top Republicans arguing that the...
    WASHINGTON -- An emerging $900 billion COVID-19 aid package from a bipartisan group of lawmakers has all but collapsed after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republican senators won't support $160 billion in state and local funds as part of a potential trade-off in the deal.McConnell's staff conveyed to top negotiators Thursday that the GOP leader sees no path to an agreement on a key aspect of the lawmakers' existing proposal - a slimmed-down version of the liability shield he is seeking for companies and organizations facing potential COVID-19 lawsuits - in exchange for the state and local funds that Democrats want.The GOP leader criticized "controversial state bailouts" during a speech in the Senate, as he insists on a more targeted aid package.SEE ALSO: New White House offer adds $600 checks to COVID-19 relief EMBED More News Videos The Trump administration has dived back into Capitol Hill's confusing COVID-19 negotiations,...
    (CNN)A bipartisan group of senators is struggling to finalize negotiations over a massive package once viewed as the best bet in Congress to give relief to Americans suffering from the coronavirus pandemic, putting pressure on congressional leaders to take matters into their own hands ahead of a critical deadline next week.The senators, along with a handful of House members, have engaged in negotiations for days as they try to finalize a $908 billion spending package that they hoped would pressure Congress to break a stalemate that has persisted for months.But the group has failed to reached an agreement on a central issue critical for Republican support: Providing protections from lawsuits for businesses, universities and other entities that opened during the pandemic. Republicans in the group say there needs to be an agreement on liability protections in order for them to sign off on a top Democratic priority: $160 billion for...
    Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media after the Republican's weekly senate luncheon in the US Capitol on December 8, 2020 in Washington, DC. McConnell spoke on the ongoing Coronavirus relief package legislation.Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images The Senate passed a one-week government funding extension Friday as Congress rushes to reach spending and coronavirus relief deals. The measure heads to President Donald Trump's desk. He needs to sign it into law before Saturday to prevent a government shutdown. The bill funds the government through Dec. 18. Congressional leaders hope to pass both a full-year spending package and pandemic aid before then. Appropriators have agreed on a $1.4 trillion price tag for legislation to keep the government running through Sept. 30. However, they have failed to agree on where exactly the money will go. Despite the most frantic efforts in months to craft a coronavirus rescue package, Congress has...
    A $900billion Covid-19 aid package has all but collapsed in Congress after Mitch McConnell said the GOP would not support $160billion in state and local funds as part of a potential trade-off in the deal. McConnell's staff told top negotiators last night that the Senate majority leader sees no path to an agreement on a key aspect of the proposal.   In exchange for the $160billion package supported by Democrats, lawmakers had offered McConnell a slimmed-down version of the liability shield he wants for companies facing potential pandemic-related lawsuits.    McConnell criticized 'controversial state bailouts' during a speech in the Senate, as he insists on a more targeted aid package. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, pictured, says Republican lawmakers will not support a $160billion aid package for state and local governments The hardened stance from McConnell, who does not appear to have enough votes from his Republican majority for a far-reaching...
    (CNN)A key panel charged with evaluating the first coronavirus vaccine candidate in the US raced against the clock on Thursday in the quest to save American lives -- a stark contrast with the dithering, excuses and appalling lack of action on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are struggling to strike a deal to send emergency pandemic relief to millions of Americans and may fail, once again, to avert a government shutdown at midnight.But the country caught a glimpse of what efficiency and transparency look like during the marathon public hearing Thursday of the US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel, whose members were productive, competent and questioned experts directly without grandstanding.For hours, the group sliced through the incredibly complex issues surrounding the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine -- wrestling with ethical and medical questions about who should get the first doses and when -- capping the day with their historic vote urging...
    For the Forum News Service, Sarah Mearhff writes: “Minnesota state legislators will be back in St. Paul on Monday for the seventh special legislative session of the year as Gov. Tim Walz plans to renew his peacetime emergency powers once again. … Rulemaking around distribution and prioritization of vaccines will be among legislators’ tasks when they convene next week. They are also expected to consider a potential aid package to Minnesota small businesses and families as the economy continues to reel due to restrictions aimed to curb the deadly virus’ spread — if the divided Legislature can agree on a deal.” Says Matt Sepic for MPR, “A federal jury in St. Paul found Michael Hari of Clarence, Ill., guilty of all five counts, including hate crime and explosive charges in the 2017 firebombing of the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn. … In addition to the guilty charges...
    By Norm Elrod (CBS Detroit) — Centrist Democrats and Republicans proposed a $908 billion coronavirus relief package last week, and it started to gain a little traction. Both parties see the need for additional stimulus, as COVID cases rise, the economy slows and millions of Americans risk losing their unemployment insurance and face eviction with winter approaching. The bipartisan plan would renew additional federal unemployment benefits though April, in the amount of $300 per week. That would add up to about $180 billion. Another $288 billion would be allocated to small businesses, utilizing the Paycheck Protection Program to loan money to companies to continue paying employees. State and local governments would receive $160 billion to offset steep revenue declines. The framework also includes $25 billion in rental assistance and extends the eviction moratorium through January. It does not include a second round of stimulus checks. On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven...
    WASHINGTON - U.S. lawmakers have yet another new coronavirus aid proposal to consider as time runs out to make a deal on assistance addressing the economic impact of the pandemic. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin late Tuesday pitched a $916 billion aid package that has the support of President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rejected as "unacceptable" the president’s proposal to cut supplementary funding for employment insurance from the $180 billion offered in a bipartisan proposal down to $40 billion. In a statement, Pelosi and Schumer said, “While it is progress that Leader McConnell has signed off on a $916 billion offer that is based off of the bipartisan framework, the president’s proposal must not be allowed to obstruct the bipartisan congressional talks that are underway.” FILE - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer,...
    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed Tuesday that lawmakers set aside two of the most contested elements of coronavirus government aid to break a month-long deadlock over a new round of congressional relief addressing the economic impact of the pandemic.  “Why don't we set aside the two obviously most contentious issues?” McConnell said to reporters, referring to liability protections and aid for state and local governments.  “We know we're going to be confronted with another request after the first of the year. We'll live to fight those another day and pass the things that we agree on,” the Kentucky Republican said.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaks to the media after the Republican's weekly Senate luncheon, at the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 8, 2020.Republicans have insisted that any new legislation include liability protections. They argue that a one-time shield from lawsuits is necessary for businesses, schools...
    President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHong Kong police arrest 8 activists over anti-government protests DHS to begin accepting new DACA applications following court order Trump personally asked Pa. GOP House Speaker for help changing election results: report MORE on Tuesday urged Congress to take immediate action on a coronavirus aid package  stating that the money is essential for widespread vaccine distribution.  The former vice president said that with the funding, he will be able to deliver 100 million vaccines to the American public in the first 100 days of his presidency.  "This will be one of the hardest, most costly operational challenges in our nation's history," Biden said, speaking from Wilmington, Del. "We're going to need Congress to fully fund vaccine distribution to all corners of the country, to everyone."  "I'm encouraged by the bipartisan efforts in Congress around a $900 billion economic relief package, which I've said is critical," he continued....
    A display is seen as bipartisan members of the Senate and House gather to announce a framework for fresh Covid-19 relief legislation at a Capitol Hill news conference on Dec. 1, 2020.Kevin Lemarque | Reuters Congress aims to scrape together a coronavirus relief package this week and prevent a lapse of benefits that could send millions of Americans spiraling further into financial peril at the end of the year. A bipartisan group of lawmakers hopes to release a more detailed outline of its $908 billion aid proposal on Monday as it prepares legislative text. Democratic leaders have backed the plan as the basis for an emergency relief bill as a sustained Covid-19 infection surge stresses hospitals across the country. Lawmakers aim to pass both pandemic aid and spending legislation before the government shuts down on Saturday. They will have to quickly resolve several sticking points to meet the...
    Reuters December 7, 2020 0 Comments Members of the U.S. Congress are expected as early as Monday to unveil bipartisan legislation to send a long-awaited infusion of federal aid to American families and businesses reeling from the resurgent coronavirus pandemic. A group from the Democratic-led House of Representatives and Republican-run Senate is expected to roll out the formal text of a $908 billion COVID-19 relief bill to blunt the health and economic impact of the virus into the early days of President-elect Joe Biden’s administration. “With the economy weakening, with 200,000 additional cases of the virus yesterday, and with so many of these initiatives from the first (legislative) package running out as soon as the day after Christmas, you know, it would be – what I call – stupidity on steroids if Congress doesn’t act,” Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat and member of the bipartisan group that wrote the...
    By: KDKA-TV News Staff HARRISBURG (KDKA) – State lawmakers in Harrisburg unveiled a $4 billion economic relief package on Friday. The Senate Democratic Caucus said that the package is aimed at stimulating the Pennsylvania economy through direct aid to families, front line workers, and businesses. Democrats said the package of bills would fund previously existing aid programs and create new ones to help those who are struggling.
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The top four leaders in the Minnesota Legislature expressed optimism Friday that lawmakers can agree on a new coronavirus relief package in time for a Dec. 14 special session, though negotiations on what should go into the aid package were continuing. An updated forecast this week that projected a $641 million surplus in the current budget came as a welcome surprise to lawmakers. There appears to be general agreement on tapping it to help businesses hit by the four-week partial closure ordered by Gov. Tim Walz, which runs through Dec. 18, and on extending unemployment benefits. But Republicans have not embraced a proposal by the governor and House Democrats for $500 one-time payments to low-income families. Working groups of lawmakers met into the night Thursday and reconvened Friday, the leaders said in an online forum hosted by media and political strategist Blois Olson of Fluence Media. And...
    By STEVE KARNOWSKI, Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The top four leaders in the Minnesota Legislature expressed optimism Friday that lawmakers can agree on a new coronavirus relief package in time for a Dec. 14 special session, though negotiations on what should go into the aid package were continuing. An updated forecast this week that projected a $641 million surplus in the current budget came as a welcome surprise to lawmakers. There appears to be general agreement on tapping it to help businesses hit by the four-week partial closure ordered by Gov. Tim Walz, which runs through Dec. 18, and on extending unemployment benefits. But Republicans have not embraced a proposal by the governor and House Democrats for $500 one-time payments to low-income families. Working groups of lawmakers met into the night Thursday and reconvened Friday, the leaders said in an online forum hosted by media and political strategist Blois...
    Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will pass a bipartisan coronavirus relief package before adjourning this month. “We must get it done before we leave,” the California Democrat said Friday. “We cannot leave without it.” Pelosi's pledge is the strongest signal yet from House and Senate leaders that a new round of funding could clear Congress with just a few days of legislative days left in the year. The renewed effort to pass an aid bill after months of stalled talks follows nationwide surges in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations and a November jobs report showing slowed job growth as officials implement new virus lockdowns. Under pressure from party lawmakers, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, announced this week they will support a $908 billion aid package proposed by a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers. The measure falls far short of the...
    It's been 202 days since the House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act, and 64 days since the House passed their compromise $2.2 trillion bill, both of which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to consider. However, for the first time since at least before the election, Pelosi and McConnell have spoken directly to each other, following Pelosi's concession to cut her demands by more than half. Pelosi, along with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told McConnell that they would accept a $908 billion proposal worked out with a bipartisan gang of senators as their starting point for negotiations. McConnell answered that proposal, and Pelosi's and Schumer's offer, by rejecting it and slashing his own previous $900 billion offer to $500 billion. McConnell seems utterly uninterested in compromise, nevertheless he is allowing Republicans to continue on negotiating, with a proposal due Monday and bipartisan "teams" of senators apparently working...
    WASHINGTON -- Optimism about delivering long-sought COVID-19 relief is building on Capitol Hill after additional rank-and-file lawmakers voiced support for a bipartisan, middle-of-the-road plan taking shape in the Senate and as top congressional leaders connected on the topic for the first time in months.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - frequent rivals but proven dealmakers - spoke on the phone Thursday, a conversation that came the day after Pelosi signaled a willingness to make major concessions in search of a COVID-19 rescue package in the $1 trillion range.Pelosi's spokesman announced the telephone conversation, tweeting that it was "about their shared commitment to completing an omnibus and COVID relief as soon as possible.""We had a good conversation. I think we're both interested in getting an outcome, both on the omnibus and on a coronavirus package," McConnell said.MORE: Don't expect a second stimulus check this year. Here's what...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Optimism about delivering long-sought COVID-19 relief is building on Capitol Hill after additional rank-and-file lawmakers voiced support for a bipartisan, middle-of-the-road plan taking shape in the Senate and as top congressional leaders connected on the topic for the first time in months. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — frequent rivals but proven dealmakers — spoke on the phone Thursday, a conversation that came the day after Pelosi signaled a willingness to make major concessions in search of a COVID rescue package in the $1 trillion range. Pelosi’s spokesman announced the telephone conversation, tweeting that it was “about their shared commitment to completing an omnibus and COVID relief as soon as possible.” “We had a good conversation. I think we’re both interested in getting an outcome, both on the omnibus and on a coronavirus package,” McConnell said. With COVID-19 caseloads spiraling and...
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Paula and Anthony Hunter spun off their catering service into a restaurant serving Italian food with a “touch of soul” right before the coronavirus hit. Soon, both Louisville businesses slammed to a halt, and the couple relied on federal relief to help stay afloat. They improvised to keep income flowing in, navigating a maze of food delivery mobile apps and prepping boxed lunches for health care workers toiling long hours at local hospitals. Now, hit with a recent statewide order closing restaurants to indoor dining until mid-December, the couple is hoping for another round of federal aid to hang on until a vaccine arrives. “Just a few more months, you know, get us through this,” said Paula Hunter, who owns the Black Italian restaurant along with her husband. Kentucky’s senior senator, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is at the center of congressional negotiations on another relief...
    By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Optimism about delivering long-sought COVID-19 relief is building on Capitol Hill after additional rank-and-file lawmakers voiced support for a bipartisan, middle-of-the-road plan taking shape in the Senate and as top congressional leaders connected on the topic for the first time in months. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — frequent rivals but proven dealmakers — spoke on the phone Thursday, a conversation that came the day after Pelosi signaled a willingness to make major concessions in search of a COVID rescue package in the $1 trillion range. Pelosi's spokesman announced the telephone conversation, tweeting that it was “about their shared commitment to completing an omnibus and COVID relief as soon as possible." “We had a good conversation. I think we’re both interested in getting an outcome, both on the omnibus and on a coronavirus package,” McConnell said. With...
    WASHINGTON -- Capitol Hill's top leaders spoke about COVID-19 relief and other unfinished business Thursday, adding to tentative optimism that a medium-sized aid package might break free after months of Washington toxicity and deadlock.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - frequent rivals but proven dealmakers - spoke on the phone, a conversation that came the day after Pelosi signaled a willingness to make major concessions in search of a COVID rescue package.Pelosi's spokesman announced the telephone conversation, tweeting that it was "about their shared commitment to completing an omnibus and COVID relief as soon as possible." McConnell's office would not comment.MORE: Don't expect a second stimulus check this year. Here's what Congress is talking about instead EMBED More News Videos Even with coronavirus spiking and new restrictions taking effect, Congress remains stalled on fresh relief for Americans in need. With COVID-19 caseloads spiraling and the daily...
    A bipartisan group of lawmakers, who drafted a $908 billion coronavirus aid package, said Thursday they won’t leave town until Congress votes on the package and demanded leadership to act as virus cases and hospitalizations surge across the nation. “I’ve got hospitals in my district that are 100% full, and predictions are that it's going to double again in two weeks,” Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, said. “Where are they going to go? Where are they going to find the workers? We have to get this thing done.” The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus summoned the media Thursday to step up demands for Congress to take up their aid measure before the end of the year. “We need the help now, before Christmas,” Rep. Tom Suozzi, a New York Democrat and vice chairman of the Problem Solvers Caucus, said. “We can't wait till February, March — the devastation will...
    The top Democrats in the House and Senate have signaled support for a new, bipartisan coronavirus aid package as congressional leaders responded to intense pressure to pass a funding bill by the end of the year. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said the $908 billion measure House and Senate lawmakers introduced on Tuesday should serve as the basis for a compromise bill, even though it is less than half of the spending Democrats were seeking. “In the spirit of compromise, we believe the bipartisan framework introduced by Senators yesterday should be used as the basis for immediate bipartisan, bicameral negotiations,” Pelosi and Schumer said. The Democratic leaders made the announcement as lawmakers ramped up pressure on top leaders in both parties to end months of stalled talks and strike a deal on a new round of...
    By DAVID PITT, Associated Press U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley said Wednesday he supports a federal funding package for coronavirus relief but opposes spending “a massive amount of money" to shore up state and local government budgets. The Iowa Republican and influential chairman of the Senate Finance Committee talked to reporters Wednesday as negotiations picked up speed in Washington surrounding a possible COVID-19 relief package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer embraced a $908 billion approach that would establish a $300 per week jobless benefit, send $160 billion to help state and local governments, boost schools and universities, revive popular “paycheck protection” subsidies for businesses, and bail out transit systems and airlines. Grassley said Congress should approve help for families, businesses, schools and communities, and he called for a bill with bipartisan support costing around $500 billion. He added he'd consider something less than $1 trillion. With...
    (CBS Detroit) — Both Democrats and Republicans agree on the need for a second round of economic stimulus. What they disagree on is what form that stimulus should take and how much it should cost. Little progress has been made since the election. What can be done in the lame-duck session leading up the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden remains to be seen. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday, “our focus in the Congress now, in this lame duck, continues to be on COVID relief. This is a red alert, all hands on deck. As Leader Schumer and I discussed yesterday, this is an emergency of the highest magnitude…” President Trump recently tweeted his support for another big round of stimulus once again. Congress must now do a Covid Relief Bill. Needs Democrats support. Make it big and focused. Get it done! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14,...
    Congress is seeking to again jump-start stalled negotiations over coronavirus relief as both parties circulate new stimulus proposals with only a few weeks left before the end of the session and the expiration of key benefits created to help those financially suffering from the pandemic. Democratic and Republican leaders are putting forth new plans in a final attempt this year to pass additional aid with the resurgence of the virus across the country, especially since widespread availability of a vaccine is still months away. Plus, a bipartisan group of senators released a $900 billion aid package to regain momentum in the remaining weeks of the lame-duck session.[ READ: Slim Democratic Majority Won't Ensure Progressive Priorities ]Negotiations have lagged for months and Congress, despite several attempts, has been unable to pass additional relief since March. Both parties have expressed a desire for another round of coronavirus aid, but the respective sides have dug...
    By SUMMER BALLENTINE, Associated Press COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Legislature resumed work Tuesday after a special session had been delayed because several lawmakers tested positive for the coronavirus. Senators were scheduled to begin work mid-November. But the Senate leader pushed off session after he announced several senators and staffers caught the virus that causes COVID-19. Lawmakers have declined to say who tested positive. The Senate budget committee on Tuesday gave initial approval to a $1.2 billion coronavirus aid package mostly comprised of federal funding. The move would allow the state to keep the federal money, including about $752 million in general coronavirus relief funding that needs to be spent by the end of the year. In Missouri, the Legislature must give approval for the governor to spend federal funding. Senators raised concerns with Republican Gov. Mike Parson's request to spend more federal funding despite not yet using all...
    A display is seen as bipartisan members of the Senate and House gather to announce a framework for fresh coronavirus disease (COVID-19) relief legislation at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2020.Kevin Lemarque | Reuters Washington lawmakers introduced a new $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package on Tuesday that aimed to appease both Democrats and Republicans. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., quickly rejected the bipartisan stimulus proposal hours after lawmakers introduced it. McConnell said he does hope to pass a "targeted relief bill" this year. The Republican Senator has maintained throughout the stimulus negotiations that he would prefer that the cost of a new aid package be limited to around $500 billion. But experts say that the plan might not include enough financial aid for struggling individuals and families. One key way of getting more money into their hands — a second round of...
    President-elect Joe Biden signaled Tuesday that he would support additional COVID-19 relief beyond any aid package Congress could pass before the end of the year. “Right now, the full Congress should come together and pass a robust package for relief to address these urgent needs,” Biden told reporters in Delaware. “But any package passed in a lame-duck session is likely to be, at best, just a start.” CELEBRITIES RIP CALIFORNIA GOV. NEWSOM OVER CORONAVIRUS THANKSGIVING RULES Biden added that his transition team was “already working” on additional relief measures to be proposed in the next session of Congress. The Biden-Harris team established a task force to combat the coronavirus pandemic following his inauguration next month. VideoNegotiations on additional COVID-19 relief have stalled for months in Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democratic leaders support a multi-trillion-dollar package with aid for state and local governments, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch...
    House and Senate lawmakers, desperate to pass a new round of coronavirus aid, are ramping up efforts to pass a bipartisan package with a flurry of last-minute phone negotiations that leaders say could produce a deal this month. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, told GOP lawmakers in a conference call Tuesday afternoon that he is working on a new coronavirus aid package in consultation with the Trump administration. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, is negotiating with the Trump administration and said Tuesday that a COVID-19 aid bill "must be passed" during the "lame-duck" session that ends this month. McConnell is pitching his plan to GOP senators first. “We're going to send that out to all the offices and get some feedback to see how our members react to a proposal that we can say for sure would be signed into law,” McConnell said. ...
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants Speaker Nancy Pelosi to back off demands for a $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package, declaring her party lost leverage in the election. “Their all-or-nothing strategy backfired,” the Kentucky Republican said in a Senate floor speech Monday. Republicans have seized more than a dozen seats held by House Democrats, shrinking Pelosi’s majority to a handful of votes. Despite those losses, Pelosi has insisted Democrats hold the leverage in Congress and in the coronavirus aid negotiations thanks to Democrat Joe Biden’s win in the presidential race. Pelosi said her larger coronavirus package should prevail. “For six months, Democrats have been pressing Republicans to agree to the next round of coronavirus relief, and for six months, Leader McConnell has insisted on a ‘pause,’ while the White House’s negotiators accused vulnerable families of lying about not being able to pay the bills,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of shadowboxing amid a tense and toxic campaign, Capitol Hill’s main players are returning for one final, perhaps futile, attempt at deal-making on a challenging menu of year-end business. COVID-19 relief, a $1.4 trillion catchall spending package, and defense policy — and a final burst of judicial nominees — dominate a truncated two- or three-week session occurring as the coronavirus pandemic rockets out of control in President Donald Trump’s final weeks in office. The only absolute must-do business is preventing a government shutdown when a temporary spending bill expires on Dec. 11. The route preferred by top lawmakers like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is to agree upon and pass an omnibus spending bill for the government. But it may be difficult to overcome bitter divisions regarding a long-delayed COVID-19 relief package that’s a top priority of...
    By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of shadowboxing amid a tense and toxic campaign, Capitol Hill's main players are returning for one final, perhaps futile, attempt at deal-making on a challenging menu of year-end business. COVID-19 relief, a $1.4 trillion catchall spending package, and defense policy — and a final burst of judicial nominees — dominate a truncated two- or three-week session occurring as the coronavirus pandemic rockets out of control in President Donald Trump's final weeks in office. The only absolute must-do business is preventing a government shutdown when a temporary spending bill expires on Dec. 11. The route preferred by top lawmakers like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is to agree upon and pass an omnibus spending bill for the government. But it may be difficult to overcome bitter divisions regarding a long-delayed COVID relief package that's...
    (CBS Detroit) — Joe Biden, the president-elect, will have a full to-do list when he takes office on January 20. Wrangling the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuilding the economy are likely right at the top. His transition team is already hard at work putting plans in place. Earlier this week, the Biden-Harris transition team announced the creation of the Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, a group of public health experts to consult with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. As Biden says, “dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts.” Containing the virus is key to rebuilding the economy. And the incoming Biden administration is already laying the groundwork for that as well. In his recently released Emergency Action Plan to Save the Economy, he lays out the basics for attacking the ongoing economic...
    President Trump took to Twitter on Friday night to urge Congress to pass the next coronavirus stimulus package and aid failing restaurants as the second wave of the pandemic is forcing some parts of the country to re-enter stricter social distancing guidelines. “The restaurant business is being absolutely decimated. Congress should step up and help,” Trump tweeted Friday night. “Time is of the essence!” TRUMP WARNS GEORGIA RUNOFF BOYCOTT WOULD PLAY 'RIGHT INTO THE HANDS OF SOME VERY SICK PEOPLE' Congress has been deadlocked on passing the next coronavirus relief package for months, a situation that has gradually worsened as the pandemic surges across the country, and the U.S. enters the holiday season. Republicans and Democrats have refused to budge on their demands for what should be included in the next stimulus package – something both Trump and President-elect Joe Biden have urged them to immediately address in order to get a relief...
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and Minnesota House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled aid proposals targeted at providing relief to small businesses that have been hit hard by the tightening of the state's restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Walz said his package is aimed at keeping businesses afloat, supporting workers struggling to get by, and helping families keep food on the table. The package includes direct aid to businesses, waiving licensing fees for the hospitality industry, extending unemployment benefits, and $500 one-time emergency payments to struggling families. His statement did not put a price tag on the package. The House GOP proposal includes direct grants to businesses that would be aimed at providing relief for Main Street establishments impacted by the governor’s latest executive orders. Republican lawmakers propose using $400 million from the state's rainy day fund, and then repaying it with federal aid if Congress...
    Hopes for another large round of federal assistance for Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic are reviving, with President-elect Joe Biden calling on Congress to "come together and pass a COVID-relief package." With many pandemic aid programs running out of funding or set to expire in December, many laid-off workers, small businesses and others face the prospects of more financial hardship without further government help.  Although many analysts expect lawmakers to eventually set aside their partisan differences and pass another stimulus bill, the size and timing of a measure remain uncertain. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled he backs another stimulus package, noting in a November 4 press conference that he would like an aid deal passed before year-end. Even so, any package passed during the so-called "lame duck" session — before the newly elected members of the Senate and the House take their seats in January, along with Mr....
    Getty Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is backing the White House’s call to repurpose unused Federal Reserve relief funds for a targeted coronavirus stimulus package. McConnell discussed the strategy with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday, November 20, according to Stars and Stripes. The Senate majority leader announced later that day his support for Mnuchin’s proposal to repurpose leftover funds allocated for Federal Reserve loan guarantees, small business aid and other pandemic relief programs. “Congress should repurpose this money toward the kinds of urgent, important and targeted relief measures that Republicans have been trying to pass for months, but which Democrats have repeatedly blocked with all-or-nothing demands,” McConnell said in the online press release. Stars and Stripes reported that $580 billion funds currently remain unused. The Federal Reserve has since declared it would “comply” with Mnuchin’s request to “return the unused funds that...
    Reuters November 20, 2020 0 Comments U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed in a meeting on Friday that Congress should pass a package of coronavirus economic aid in its current session, they said in a joint statement. “That package should include resources to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, relief for working families and small businesses, support for state and local governments trying to keep frontline workers on the payroll, expanded unemployment insurance, and affordable health care for millions of families,” said the joint statement, released by Biden’s office. (Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
    Getty With negotiations but to yield a brand new aid package deal, the approaching authorities shutdown deadline date could give Congress the push it wants. With Democrats and Republicans stated to be negotiating a brand new stimulus package deal however nonetheless showing at an deadlock, many are questioning whether or not a measure like stimulus checks might be tacked onto the invoice to keep away from a authorities shutdown. The HEROES Act, which initially price $3.four trillion and was up to date to price $2.2 trillion, has been on Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell’s desk for the reason that Democrat-controlled Home handed the invoice in Could. McConnell’s “skinny invoice” that may price solely $500 billion and was criticized by Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi as not offering ample help was blocked by Senate Democrats months in the past. This price ticket stays one...
    Getty If you had trouble receiving an economic impact payment last time, things like setting up direct deposit for you next tax return may help. The wars of words between Republicans and Democrats before the 2020 presidential election have continued after it. Now the Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, is calling Democrats’ stimulus relief plan “unserious.” “House Democrats’ so-called ‘HEROES Act’ is so unserious that it was condemned by the Speaker’s own moderate Democrats the instant she put it out,” he tweeted. “Huge tax cuts for rich people in blue states, but no second round of the Paycheck Protection Program? Those are their priorities?” The networks have called the election for former Vice President Joe Biden, but that won’t matter to Democrats’ relief efforts if Republicans cling to their narrow lead in the U.S. Senate. That’s because the U.S. Constitution gives funding authority to Congress, not the...
    (CBS Detroit) — Both Democrats and Republicans agree on the need for a second round of economic stimulus. What they disagree on is what form that stimulus should take and how much it should cost. Little progress has been made since the election. What can be done in the lame-duck session leading up the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden remains to be seen. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday, “our focus in the Congress now, in this lame duck, continues to be on COVID relief. This is a red alert, all hands on deck. As Leader Schumer and I discussed yesterday, this is an emergency of the highest magnitude…” President Trump recently tweeted his support for another big round of stimulus once again. Congress must now do a Covid Relief Bill. Needs Democrats support. Make it big and focused. Get it done! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14,...
    House and Senate leaders have not talked to each other about a deal to pass a coronavirus aid package, despite a desire by both parties to clear a measure in the lame-duck session. “We’ve had no private discussion about this,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, told reporters Tuesday. Democrats issued a new letter shortly after McConnell’s remarks, calling on him to negotiate a deal. But the two parties are showing no movement toward each other that would bridge the wide gap between their two plans to provide more federal aid. Democrats are eager to win as much of the $3.4 trillion package they passed in the House in May, while McConnell and the GOP said they’ll only agree to a more targeted, $500 billion package Republicans voted to support earlier this year. “I am open to a targeted bill roughly in the amount we recommended,” McConnell said....