A number of key provisions, such as extended unemployment insurance and deferral moratoriums from this spring’s massive CARES law, expire at the end of the year, increasing the urgency. Any potential coronavirus help package can be linked to an expense bill that must be paid before December 11 to ensure its passage.
Congress leaders prefer a large spending package to avoid a shutdown rather than a stopgap that continues to address the new presidency of Joe Biden, which begins in January next year.
There are several groups of discussions. Among the senators involved are Chris Coons (D-Del.), Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mark Warner ( D-Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Said the sources. Senate minority whip Dick Durbin has also been involved in some discussions.
But whether this group can push their leadership to cut a deal as outgoing President Donald Trump sits on the sidelines is another matter. There is general agreement that Congress needs to expand unemployment funding, support for small businesses and health care funding, but Democrats are still generally opposed to the GOP̵
Pelosi and Schumer have repeatedly insisted that a big deal of several trillion dollars with lots of money for states and localities is better than no deal, to the dismay of some centrists in the party. McConnell and most of the Senate GOP have pushed a $ 500 billion small package that Democrats have repeatedly blocked.