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McConnell keeps Senate in Washington to hammer out stimulus package

Mitch McConnell
Posted at 8:49 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 20:49:44-05

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he is not sending senators home until there is a coronavirus stimulus bill that has been approved by the chamber.

“The Senate is not going anywhere until we have COVID relief out the door. We're staying right here until COVID relief is out the door,” McConnell said.

As far as the status of negotiations?

“Conversations are still underway and making progress on the major pandemic relief package we've all been seeking for the American people. As I've been saying, families across the nation have waited far too long already for another significant dose of assistance. We must not slide into treating these talks like routine negotiations to be conducted at Congress' routine pace,” McConnell said.

McConnell’s view is one shared by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

“We have a responsibility to get this right. People's lives depend upon it,” he said.

Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the House will not break for the holidays until pandemic relief is passed.

There is added pressure on Congress as the government runs out of funding Friday night.

But both sides have been working on economic relief for months, but have failed to come to any sort of compromise.

Two weeks ago, a bipartisan group of legislators proposed a $900 billion stimulus plan that would extend funds for additional unemployment benefits for up to 18 weeks per worker. The legislation also would replenish funds for the Paycheck Protection Program, which helped companies affected by the pandemic make payroll.

In recent days, members of Congress have pushed for $600 stimulus checks to be added to the comprehensive package. The checks would be sent to Americans in a similar fashion as the stimulus checks most Americans received in the spring.