Congress leaders put ‘final touches’ on Covid’s aid deal as funding deadline approaches

WASHINGTON – Congress leaders got closer to concluding a corona virus clearance agreement on Thursday, a day ahead of the government funding deadline.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. He said on Thursday that the two sides’ agreement was “close by” and that the negotiators were “at the 1-yard line.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters in California that the negotiators “made some progress this morning” and continued the conversation.

Their remarks followed discussions this week between congressional leaders to reach an agreement to provide some $ 900 billion in corona virus clearance money to workers, families and businesses struggling with the epidemic – and to help spread the vaccines.

Congress will not have a short time, and top lawmakers say a stop-gap spending measure is likely to be expected to buy additional days to calculate a coronavirus relief package to avoid a shutdown, and both an omnibus spending bill would be adopted together.

McConnell said it was “very likely” that the Senate would work through the weekend and warned against both sides pushing for “contradictory” political additions that could bridge the deal.

Any stop-gap funding account should be “very, very short.”

Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. according to the congress, “it makes the final touch on the biggest incentive bill in the history of our country, with the exception of the CARES law.”

According to negotiation sources, the package will include a new round of incentive checks, probably about $ 600 for each adult who qualifies on the basis of income; $ 300 a week federal unemployment insurance bonus; more money for businesses and workers struggling with rents; vaccine distribution funds; and assistance with renting and meals.

The package is not expected to include employer liability protection, McConnell’s top priority, or money for state and local aid demanded by Democrats. The rejection of these two provisions prepared the agreement.

One point of attachment revolves around the disaster fund of the Federal Agency for Disaster Management. Republicans have raised an objection, citing its $ 90 billion cost. Democrats are urging, as an indirect way, to raise money for states and arguing that it will cost much less.

The other protracted issue involves the Treasury and Federal Reserve lending program – Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pa. And other Republicans want to put limits around the program.

“We’re very close to an agreement, but the details really matter,” Schumer said Thursday. “None of the remaining obstacles can be overcome,” he said. – We’re not leaving until we get the result.

Dick Durbin, a Senate minority whip in D-Illinois, said Thursday that he “hopes to reach an agreement today.”

Julie Tsirkin consented.