Pandemic Relief Set For Release as Congress Seeks Deal (REPORT)

Democrats and Republicans continue wrangling over a coronavirus relief package. Negotiators on both sides of the aisle hope to resolve critical differences concerning funding for local governments and liability protections for business entities this week.

Lawmakers plan to attach the package to an omnibus bill necessary to provide government funds into 2021. However, time is of the essence as current government funding expires on Friday, December 11.

The Democratic-led House hopes to pass a one-week continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown, according to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). The Republican-led Senate is expected to pass the extension once it receives it, according to recent remarks by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Leader McConnell stressed that both parties support measures like funding for vaccines, continued unemployment benefits, and relief for businesses. However, broad differences remain on other provisions like the Republican demand for employers’ protection from coronavirus-related lawsuits.

The White House hasn’t endorsed the proposed compromise bill. However, President Donald Trump’s top economic advisor told reporters the president would “likely” sign the relief package.

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