Congress Could Pass Next COVID Relief Package in Two Parts: Report

December 14, 2020by Shant Shahrigian, New York Daily News (TNS)
A view of the U.S. Capitol Building on Nov. 8, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Yegor Aleyev/TASS/Zuma Press/TNS)

Members of Congress are expected to introduce a COVID relief spending bill at the start of the week, according to a published report.

A bipartisan group is planning to introduce the $908 billion legislation in two parts, Politico reported.

The package reportedly includes $748 billion for services like health care and schools, to be followed by $160 billion for local governments.

The proposal comes as Congress is scheduled to go on holiday and as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation are set to expire at the end of December.

For months, Senate Republicans have blocked legislation including funding for struggling localities including New York State and the Big Apple.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is said to favor splitting coronavirus relief into two portions, according to Politico.

Some of his colleagues remained skeptical Sunday.

“We’re stuck in the same place we were four months ago,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) was quoted as saying by The Hill.

But House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) indicated he was open to the two-bill approach.

“If we can get [aid to localities], we want to get it, but we want to get aid out to the people who are really, really struggling and are at great risk,” he said on CNN.

On Friday, Congress passed a temporary spending bill that staved off a government shutdown.

While President Trump remains obsessed by unfounded claims of election fraud, President-elect Joe Biden called on Congress to take action over the weekend.

“The economic crisis has left millions of Americans out of work,” he said in a video released Saturday. “Congress needs to act, and act now, on the COVID package.”

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(c)2020 New York Daily News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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