McConnell Rejects New Bipartisan Coronavirus Relief Proposal

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President-elect Joe Biden swung behind a bipartisan COVID-19 relief effort Wednesday and his top Capitol Hill allies cut their demands for a $2 trillion-plus measure by more than half in hopes of breaking a monthslong logjam and delivering much-sought aid as the tempestuous congressional session speeds to a close.

Waiting until next year for fresh covid relief "not an answer".

He said must pass a targeted relief bill this year.

Mrs. Pelosi said the secretary is reviewing a proposal she and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer sent to the Republicans Monday evening, as well as the $908 billion bipartisan proposal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brushed off the latest bipartisan coronavirus relief proposal Tuesday and is instead circulating a new proposal from GOP leadership amongst Senate Republicans that would ensure a signature from President Trump. But his initiative fell flat with Democrats and a key GOP moderate. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, among others. "Every time he's tried to do it in a partisan way it has failed", the New York Democrat said.

The statement was a significant concession by Pelosi and Schumer, who played hardball this fall during failed preelection discussions with the administration on a costlier bill.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer urged McConnell, a Republican, to immediately engage in negotiations, using the $908 billion initiative as a foundation.

The Republican legislation would include the GOP priorities of protecting businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits and of increasing taxpayer subsidies for religious and other private schools. It's the first time Pelosi and Schumer have shown a willingness to consider the idea. But McConnell himself endorsed a $1 trillion-or so plan this summer, only to encounter resistance from conservatives that prompted him to retrench.

Democrats declined to release details of their concessions to McConnell. His top deputy, Sen.

McConnell has said he hopes to include some targeted relief in an upcoming spending bill that must be approved by December 11.

"If there's one thing I'm hearing uniformly it's: 'Congress, do not leave town for the holidays leaving the country and the economy adrift with all these initial CARES [Act] programs running out, '" Warner told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday. It was a sign that some lawmakers reluctant to adjourn for the year without approving some pandemic aid. It would revive a special jobless benefit, but at a reduced level of $300 per week rather than the $600 benefit enacted in March.

The compromise proposal included, among other items, state and local aid, new forgivable loans for small businesses, enhanced unemployment insurance benefits, funding for nutrition programs and education, and money for airlines, buses, Amtrak, and public transportation systems such as NJ Transit.

The proposal would also devote $82 billion for schools and education-needs; $26 billion for agricultural and nutritional assistance; $25 billion in rental assistance; $10 billion for the USA postal service; $10 billion for childcare; and $10 billion for rural broadband, among other areas.

Lawmakers' bipartisan effort comes after a split-decision election delivered the White House to Democrats and gave Republicans down-ballot success.

"The president will sign the McConnell proposal that he put forward yesterday".



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