Aggravation Negotiation: A deal is within reach. Can hill leaders finally strike a blow?


With government funding, since Friday night, lawmakers have to issue a massive $ 1.4 trillion package as soon as Tuesday if it has no chance of keeping Congress and agencies closed for the weekend.

This means that Americans can learn on Tuesday whether leaders on Capitol Hill want to add the Kovid-19 provisions to the omnibus relief package, as they have agreed to provide dire need relief.

If no agreement is reached, the Americans may once again be discouraged and they may also be forced to wait longer as lawmakers want to move forward.

It is clear in almost all of Washington that a deal is within reach that includes several key provisions: an expansion of unemployed benefits, funding for vaccine distribution, funding for schools, small business loans – among a few other issues.

But Congress leaders are still required to sign such a resolution.

As of late Monday night, there was still no final consensus, with familiar sticking points: Democrats want state and local funds to help workers who provide vital services are not locked out. Republicans believe this will waste a lot of money. And GOP lawmakers, who are open to more state and local aid, say there should also be litigation protection for businesses and other entities, but Democrats argue that GOP proposals go too far on that idea.
Sources said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was insisting on state and local assistance until Monday night. But there were clear indications that the Democrats were likely to give up that push, something that could lead to a long-awaited deal.

“It’s time to get the job done,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Monday.

Democrats agree with the sentiment.

“This week, there is very little time left to end important matters of Senate business,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Bemmer.

But can they get there?

Lawmakers planning to unveil a government funding bill

House and Senate appropriators plan to unveil a $ 1.4 trillion spending bill on Tuesday to fund federal agencies by the end of September 2021, hoping for a larger package to pass both chambers on Friday. Leaves less time before the limit.

If lawmakers did manage to abolish the colossal law on Tuesday, its funding provisions would be as important as whether it also included epidemic relief. If that happens, it would indicate that a deal of horse-trading has been reached with Congress leaders and may be contested later in the week to get votes in the House and Senate to the President’s desk. (They would still need cooperation from all senators to pass the bill quickly.)

If a comprehensive government funding bill is issued without pandemic relief, that would cause serious trouble for the holiday’s attempt to pass Kovid aid before Congress breaks down and the impending end of the ditch to secure an incentive deal May indicate death.

There is also another scenario: Self-imposed deadlines have a way of slipping into Congress and it is always possible that lawmakers will not issue a massive funding deal on Tuesday, despite their intention to do so. If this happens, it could mean that negotiations are breaking down on both stimulus and government spending and during the lame duck session of the Congress, MPs need to take the issue forward by walking away from an epidemic provoking agreement and shortening the road Can be forced. -Mart funding patch rather than a comprehensive, comprehensive spending deal.

“The next several days are going to bring one of two results,” McConnell said. “Either 100 senators will shake our heads, accuse and offer excuses as to why we still haven’t been able to legislate – or we’ll break up for the holidays, giving another big dose of relief for the people Can be sent. Who needs it? ”

Democrats may be forced to give up state and local aid

On Monday, there were clear indications that Democrats could be forced to give up a push for at least $ 160 billion to help cash-strapped states and cities to get a bipartisan agreement on some relief provisions.

Both Pelosi and Schumer refused, saying that there was a red line for them in the aid negotiations. And during a 22-minute phone call on Monday evening, the speaker told Treasury Secretary Steven Menuchin that the GOP’s urge for businesses and other entities to include lawsuit protection to get an agreement on state and local aid is “a hindrance.” “Because Republicans are demanding that the two be combined together.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday unveiled the legislative text of the $ 908 billion Kovid relief plan. But instead of putting out a single legislative package, the bipartisan coalition split its proposal into two bills dealing with the thorny issues of state and local aid and liability protection, and the other focused on the provisions expected to win broad bipartisan support. Concentrated.

The move to split the signal for how difficult it would be for such a package to achieve a wide buy-win – and Republicans insisted they would only support state and local aid if it was linked to liability protection, A move that Democrats have opposed.

Two senior Democratic sources said in a conversation that CNN said it no longer thought that state and local aid would include it in the epidemic relief package.

If the aid is eventually removed from the plan, it would amount to a larger concession from Democrats, who gave states and cities about $ 1 trillion in aid as part of a $ 3 trillion-plus plan that the House passed in May. And was never considered by the Senate. Democrats had argued that money was paramount to ensure that workers performing critical services – from first responders to health care workers – could continue to have a say at work.

What’s in the bipartisan plan

If Democrats give up their demand for state and local aid, the consensus bill put forward by the bipartisan coalition on Monday suggested that that issue, as well as liability protection, could be prepared for whether a more comprehensive form May agree with. Kovid gave relief.

That bill has a $ 748 billion price tag and includes policy considerations that have proved popular across party lines such as promoting a paycheck protection program that has been a lifeline for epidemic-ravaged small businesses and vaccination distribution. There is money to support.

According to a summary released on Monday, the bill would provide $ 300 billion to the Small Business Administration and funds that would allow small businesses to benefit from other loans through PPPs with certain eligibility restrictions.

The CDC will expand epidemic unemployment insurance programs for 16 weeks, with $ 2.58 billion for vaccine delivery and infrastructure and a $ 300 per week expansion of federal supplemental unemployment insurance benefits.

Senate Majority Whip John Thune of the South Dakota Republic indicated on Monday about optimism about the bipartisan package, saying, “I think it’s finally moving in the right direction.”

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