Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says he sees “no reason” why Congress should not deliver another coronavirus relief package to Americans before the start of 2021.
Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill have been deadlocked for months on additional coronavirus relief after a number of stimulus packages in early 2020.
Speaking on the floor of the Senate during what may be the only full week of the lame duck session of Congress, McConnell said, “There’s no reason — none — why we should not deliver another major pandemic relief package through what seems poised to be the last chapters of this battle.”
He continued, “This morning we got yet another major sign of hope, more data appeared to confirm that the vaccine developed by Moderna is more than ninety-four percent effective.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says "there is no reason — none — why we should not deliver another major pandemic relief package" before the end of 2020 https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/u8gvLmUDjS
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 30, 2020
Democrats in the House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act in May, but McConnell has declined to allow that bill a vote on the floor of the Senate.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in mid-November that there have been some “breakthroughs” in the negotiations after McConnell’s team had previously balked at making a deal.
The New York senator told reporters, “They’ve agreed to sit down, and the staffs are going to sit down today or tomorrow to try to begin to see if we can get a real good Covid relief bill. So there’s been a little bit of a breakthrough in that McConnell’s folks are finally sitting down and talking to us.”
The parties were again at the negotiating table in late October, with Republicans offering a proposal that McConnell said would not include additional stimulus checks.
But a coronavirus relief package is not the only major bit of legislation that the parties will work to hammer out before the end of the year. The government will shut down on December 11 unless Congress is able to put together a funding bill.
While the United States is currently in the midst of a coronavirus spike, promising vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer have buoyed hope across the country and the vaccines are expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks.
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