Away from the pointless hearings into voting, which seemed designed mainly to mollify the President’s insatiable desire for more investigations, congressional leaders from both parties said they were making progress in crafting a Covid stimulus package after months of a stalemate.
McConnell said that leaders “made major headway toward hammering out a targeted pandemic relief package that would be able to pass both chambers with bipartisan majorities.”
“We agreed we will not leave town until we’ve made law,” McConnell said.
The two most controversial sticking points — Covid-19 liability protections for corporations and businesses and direct aid to state and local governments that are struggling with lost revenue and decimated budgets after this year’s closures — have largely been set aside from the main consensus package. That has allowed negotiators to focus on how much they should spend on direct payments to struggling Americans.
With an overarching price tag of around $900 billion, the package is expected to include an additional $300 a week in jobless benefits and $330 billion for small business loans, as well as for critically needed funds for schools and vaccine distribution throughout the country.