Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has agreed to resume negotiations with Democrats over a potential new Covid-19 bill as cases continue to surge around the country, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Thursday.
“Last night, 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,” the minority leader said during a press conference in New York. “So there’s been a little bit of a breakthrough in that McConnell’s folks are finally sitting down and talking to us.”
McConnell’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.
Democrats and Republicans have been locked in a stalemate over the details and size of any potential stimulus legislation since before President-elect Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in this month’s election.
It has been months since Congress has authorized new financial relief to combat the recession inflicted by the virus. The Senate adjourned on Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday with little evidence that the two sides were any closer to reaching a deal.
The lack of action from Congress has left millions of Americans in a financially precarious position.
Without an extension to the CARES act passed in March, about 12 million Americans are expected to lose unemployment benefits at the end of December. A federal eviction moratorium put in place as a result of the crisis will also expire at year’s end.
Meetings between Republican and Democratic staff members would be a first step in what could be a protracted process. Democrats have proposed $2.2 trillion in spending, while McConnell has signaled that he will not support legislation north of $500 billion.
This is breaking news. Check back for updates.
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