As the boom in Kovid-19 cases, Congress looks pessimistic about a new relief package

WASHINGTON – Congress remains deadlocked on the coronovirus relief bill, and lawmakers from both parties are pessimistic about a pass in the near future, even as the election slips into the rearview mirror and the Kovid-19 case The number increases nationally.

“I am discouraged right now, openly,” Sen. John Cornyn of R-Texas said Tuesday.

After months of deadlock, negotiations have yet to resume. The deadlock is about the price tag and what programs should be funded: House Democrats are pushing for a $ 2.2 trillion plan, and Senate Republicans want a slimmer $ 500 billion bill.

The election results are not going to go either way to the cave. Voters gave Democrats the presidency, but beaten the majority of their House and now, at least, put the Senate in the hands of the GOP.

President Donald Trump appears disgruntled as he refuses to give up and focuses his energy on rejecting the outcome.

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Said on Tuesday that he had “no private discussion” with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, about the coronary relief bill, but that he Do not agree what Democrats are saying publicly. .

He said a measure he “narrowly targeted at schools and health care providers” and aids in small-business relief. He also called for providing liability protection to protect businesses and organizations working during the epidemic. He said he had “seen no evidence” that Democratic leaders would accept it.

Democrats are pushing for something bigger.

“I just get the sense that Mitch McConnell sees absolutely zero urgency,” said Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat organization on the Finance Committee. “And in that sense his position is just a surprising thing that people are actually talking about.”

The logjam remains at an alarming time for the United States, with the number of new daily Kovid-19 cases hitting all-time high and cash-strapped states, businesses and families seeking federal help. As the federal government prepares to launch an aggressive vaccine distribution, states are also warning that they need federal help to bear the cost of the spread of injections.

National coronavirus response to uncertainty at the top continues.

Many Republicans stand to not give up on Trump’s decision, which delays the transition between his administration and the next.

President-Elect Joe Biden has warned that “more people may die” if the “White House” refuses to coordinate with its transition team. Biden has backed calls by Democrats for a comprehensive relief package.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., said Trump’s refusal to grant “childish and infant” Republicans more relief from Kovid-19.

“Senate Republicans are distracted by an angry, petty president. They fear his anger. They are afraid of what he might tweet about them. Refusal to accept election results makes it difficult for Congress to move forward goes.” “Schumer told reporters.

Pelosi and Schumer wrote a letter Tuesday afternoon asking McConnell to come to the table “to ease the epidemic and economic woes” and work to come to an agreement with us.

The calendar presents another complication: Congress faces a deadline of December 11 to fund the government. Party leaders have not reached an agreement yet, and even if they do, there is concern that Trump will refuse to sign the law.

Failure to pass the funds will shut down the federal government at a time when the economy is already struggling and agencies are trying to respond to the epidemic.

The government is buckled about a combination of coronavirus assistance and a spending bill to keep it open, but some fears that will only increase the odds of a shutdown.

“You have to make two agreements. We don’t have the first one yet,” Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., Chair of the appropriation committee.

Shelby said that he has spoken to Pelosi about the Kovid-19 relief. He said Democrats needed to significantly cut their $ 2.5 trillion request to secure a deal.

New York’s House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Geoffries said Tuesday that Americans are suffering in a “once-in-a-century epidemic” that “needs a once-in-a-century congressional response.” He cited the $ 2.2 billion HEROES Act, which has approved a Democratic-controlled House, but Senate Republicans have said it is too large.

“We passed the Hero Act not once, but twice,” he said. “And hopefully, we will find common ground with our Senate Republicans over the next few days or weeks before departing for the holidays.”

A Democratic aide speculated that the deadlock could only break if Trump conceded defeat in the election, at which point the endgame would become clear and serious negotiations could begin.

“If he’s not celebrating, then it becomes: ‘What can we do on the first day of Biden?” “The aide said.

Leah Ann Caldwell and Garrett Hacke has contributed.

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