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COVID Relief Package Likelihood Unclear
USAgNet - 11/23/2020

Negotiations on a COVID relief package remained in neutral last week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) remain at odds over the size and price of the effort. Pelosi has been advocating for a broader, $2 trillion measure, while McConnell has been pushing for a more targeted, $500 billion bill.

On Tuesday, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in an effort to spur further discussions. However, in a glimmer of hope on Thursday, Schumer said McConnell had agreed to staff-level talks.

"There's a little bit of good news, as of today," he said. "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," he added.

However, Senate Republicans countered that discussions focused on an omnibus government spending bill and not COVID relief. It remains unclear whether any progress on a COVID relief package is likely during the current lame duck session.

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