COVID Relief Negotiations Continue

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to hold a vote next week on the next coronavirus relief bill. The new bill is expected to be $500 billion more than the “skinny” package the Senate released earlier, but will be half the size of the administration’s most recent $1.8 trillion offer.

The new package would provide roughly $500 billion in relief, including unemployment assistance, more money for schools and healthcare, and new funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses. It will also contain liability protections for businesses, schools and health care providers. Leader McConnell also said that another round of checks for the hardest hit Americans could be in the offering, although he didn’t specify what the threshold might be.

On a conference call with Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi maintained her opposition to cutting a deal now. "We really need to have an agreement, but we cannot have an agreement by just folding," Pelosi said, according to one of the sources. "I don't think our leverage has ever been greater than it is now."

With the election less than 20 days away, it remains unlikely that a package will make its way through the process before then.