WASHINGTON (AP) — Under pressure from moderates in both parties, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have initiated late-game negotiations in hopes of combining a coronavirus relief package.
In all likelihood, the package will contain less than $1 trillion with a separate $1.4 trillion government-wide omnibus spending bill.
After lengthy delays, optimism is finally building in Washington for a COVID-19 aid bill that would offer relief for businesses, the unemployed, schools and health care providers, among others struggling as caseloads are spiking.
Success is not certain and considerable differences remain over details, such aid to states and local governments, liability protections for businesses and universities reopening during the pandemic, and whether to issue a second round of $1,200 direct payments to most Americans.
But renewing soon-to-expire jobless benefits, providing a second round of “paycheck protection” subsidies, and funding to distribute vaccines are sure bets to be included in any deal.