Lawmakers in negotiations On A New Coronavirus Relief Bill
Congress returns from a summer recess Monday as many states experience spikes in
confirmed coronavirus cases.
State governments face a precipitous drop in revenue, parents and teachers are debating how kids will return to school in the fall, and millions of unemployed workers face the prospect of their pandemic assistance running out at the end of the month.
But there have been zero negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and they remain very far apart on the contours of what should be in another relief bill.
Pelosi pushed again last week for the $3 trillion HEROES Act the House passed more than two months ago. But that bill, which was approved largely along party lines, was ignored by McConnell — and also met with a veto threat by the president.
McConnell insists he's writing the next bill on his own and has indicated he's looking at something significantly smaller — about $1 trillion. Senate Democrats haven't heard any details and, according to a source on a call with the Democratic caucus last week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he would engage in talks only if House Democrats were included.
McConnell is expected to unveil his proposal early this week, according to an aide familiar with the leader's plans. After discussions with Senate Republicans at a lunch on Tuesday, the bill could be rolled out if the GOP conference backs the blueprint.
He has repeatedly said no bill would pass without liability protection related to everyone from health care workers to businesses to schools.