Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to resume negotiations with Democrats over a potential new second stimulus relief bill as cases continue to surge around the country.
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"Schumer explained how “republicans have now agreed to sit down and the staffs are going to sit down today or tomorrow to try to begin to see if we can get a real good stimulus relief bill.
During a news conference in New York the minority leader said that is a “breakthrough in that McConnell’s folks are finally sitting down and talking to us” and now they can hopefully get a bill passed the end of the year. One thing to keep in mind though is that Republican and Democratic congressional aides told NBC News that the focus of both sides right now is going to be the government funding bill to prevent a government shutdown on Dec. 11 and not for stimulus
Yesterday on Thursday, an open letter signed by leading U.S. economists insisted that a further stimulus package is needed this year, and it suggested specific measures that are still needed amid continued turmoil posed by the pandemic. The statement released by the Economic Strategy Group called for Congress to enact further stimulus as quickly as possible.
It said that “Amidst a resurgence in caseloads of the virus and continuing economic devastation from the pandemic, we urge Congress to enact legislation that focuses on the core measures necessary to provide additional fiscal relief as quickly as possible and no later than the end of this calendar year," It suggested the package should include additional funding to fight the virus "first and foremost."
And the letter also backs: Support for individuals and families with direct stimulus checks. Income relief for those who are unemployed with boosted federal unemployment benefits. Enhanced benefits to assist households struggling to cover food costs. Measures to back those facing eviction and homelessness due to income loss. Fiscal support for state and local governments as well as support for K-12 schools, to allow them to open safely, is also endorsed, while Backing for small businesses is highlighted as a necessity.
Where we stand right now is that it has been months since Congress has authorized new financial relief to combat the recession inflicted by the virus and on top of that the Senate adjourned on Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday with little evidence that the two sides were any closer to reaching a deal. The lack of action from Congress has left millions of Americans in a financially precarious position and without an extension to the CARES Act passed in March, about 12 million Americans are expected to lose unemployment benefits at the end of December. In addition to this a federal eviction moratorium put in place as a result of the crisis will also expire at year’s end. Biden has lined up behind Democrats’ stimulus proposals and said that “For millions of Americans who’ve lost hours and wages, or have lost jobs, we can deliver immediate relief, and it need be done quickly,” He said that “Congress should come together and pass a Covid relief package” now as well and Biden is expected to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Schumer in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday, aides for Pelosi and the Biden transition team told NBC News."
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