A number of key provisions, like the extension of unemployment insurance and the moratoriums on evictions stemming from the massive CARES law of the spring, expire at the end of the year, adding to the urgency. Any potential coronavirus relief program could be attached to an expense bill due by December 11 to ensure its passage.
Congressional leaders prefer a hefty spending package to avoid a shutdown instead of an interim resolution from Joe Biden’s new presidency that begins next January.
There are several discussion groups. Among the senators involved are Chris Coons (D-Del.), Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), According to sources. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin also participated in discussions.
But whether this group can push its leaders to strike a deal while incumbent President Donald Trump is on the sidelines, that’s another question. There is general agreement that Congress needs to expand unemployment funding, help small businesses, and boost health care funding, but Democrats are still generally opposed to the GOP’s plans to reform the government. accountability and Republicans are reluctant to provide tens of billions of dollars in aid to blue states.
Pelosi and Schumer have repeatedly insisted that a big, multi-trillion dollar deal with big money for states and communities is better than no deal, much to the dismay of some party centrists. McConnell and most of the Senate GOP pushed for a smaller $ 500 billion package that Democrats have repeatedly blocked.