Senator Mitch McConnell has affirmed that a compromise on a new stimulus is on the horizon.
McConnell: US Stimulus Deal 'Within Reach'
Optimism regarding delivering a COVID-19 relief is mounting on Capitol Hill following additional rank-and-file lawmakers voicing their support for a bipartisan, middle-of-the-road plan building in the Senate and top congressional leaders connecting on the topic for the first time in months.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and McConnell -- frequent rivals but proven dealmakers -- spoke on the phone on Thursday. This was a day after Pelosi signaled a readiness to make major compromises searching for a COVID rescue package in the $1 trillion range.
McConnell stated he is hopeful Congress could strike a novel coronavirus stimulus bill before the year-end. He remarked on Thursday a compromise on an estimated $500 billion bipartisan package is within reach.
He also said it is clear a coronavirus relief is necessitated, and the timing is right to negotiate a deal.
McConnell prompted lawmakers to sign off on issues both sides come into the agreement was the others are set aside.
According to the Senate Majority Leader, "There are many important policies that have strong bipartisan support. There are many others that do not."
The House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader spoke on Thursday for the first time since the 2020 election as Congress scrambles to come to an agreement with a coronavirus stimulus deal and alleviate a government shutdown.
The congressional leaders discussed their "shared commitment to completing an omnibus [spending bill] and COVID relief as soon as possible," according to Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill on Twitter, reported NBC Philadelphia.
This bolstered hopes that Washington could finally agree on a follow-up stimulus package. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said it was "heartening to see a few hopeful signs in the past few days" and that there was "movement in the right direction," reported Financial Times.
This comes days after McConnell nixed a bipartisan proposal to assist Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He called for "common sense" proposals to be urgently implemented, including reviving the Paycheck Protection Program to provide funding for coronavirus vaccine dissemination and expanding federal unemployment benefits.
As of now, stimulus checks are seemingly unlikely to be part of initial package lawmakers would prioritize to approve before 2020 ends. The much-talked-about $1,200 direct payments have not been involved in recent proposals.
The Kentucky Republican has favored a smaller package closer to $500 billion. He declined the bipartisan proposal on Tuesday, saying it is a waste of time.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress have been clambering to strike a pandemic relief deal before the conclusion of 2020.
Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer backed a bipartisan $908 billion stimulus package while McConnell released his own estimated $500 billion plan.
According to Senate Majority Leader McConnell, "Compromise is within reach. We know where we agree. We can do this. Let me say it again. We can do this and we need to do this. So, let's be about actually making a law," reported The Epoch Times.
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