Covid Stimulus Negotiations Continue to Heat Up

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill continue to pressure representatives to agree on a Covid stimulus relief package by or before Christmas. Four Senate Republicans are pushing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), saying he should agree to a compromise in order to finalize a deal to help millions of Americans suffering economically. The senators have argued McConnell should stop impeding the process even if that means agreeing to a package priced higher than his target of $500 billion. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), presented an alternative $908 billion bi-partisan compromise package to McConnell during a meeting at his office on Thursday.  

Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), are being pressured by Democrats who have expressed their disappointment at the party’s failure to win a Senate majority in the November election, saying Americans will be economically damaged further at the party’s peril if a compromise deal is not reached soon. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) expressed frustration from voters she met on the campaign trail who are disappointed at the lack of cooperation for the sake of relieving hardships being experienced by many who are extremely frustrated at the continued stalling and obstinate posturing by leaders in Washington. 

McConnell, who has taken over the negotiation role from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, spoke with Pelosi on Thursday in their first direct conversation since the November election. Reportedly, both expressed their willingness to come to agreeable terms for a Covid relief package to be finalized by the end of this month. None of the proposals appear to include another round of much needed $1,200 stimulus checks.