In face of 'grim' jobs report, Biden backs more virus aid

In face of 'grim' jobs report, Biden backs more virus aid

Congressional leaders have been mired in disagreements for months.

Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; John Cornyn, R-Texas; and Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., signaled their openness to the package, which had been unveiled by a group of moderate Republican and Democratic senators on Tuesday. The Democrat called the report "dire" and said it "shows the economy is stalling", but he said quick action from Congress can halt some of the damage.

"I think that the average hairdresser is getting $186 a week, most of us have to pay our health insurance out of pocket which you know, it's not cheap". But this week, Pelosi and Schumer said the bipartisan, $908 billion aid bill should be the basis of new negotiations. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that he wants to see a funding deal come together by Saturday evening in order to meet next Friday's deadline. It also includes a temporary block on pandemic-related lawsuits to allow states to craft their own policies on legal liability.

State and local governments also are expected to continue layoffs if a new round of federal aid is not approved.

"The president will sign the McConnell proposal that he put forward yesterday", Mr. Mnuchin said Wednesday. Hoyer said he wants a House vote by December 10.

When asked about McConnell's proposal, President Trump told reporters Thursday that he supports a deal.

While most lawmakers have long agreed more aid is needed, many feel more urgency now.

President-elect Joe Biden is pushing ahead with his call for massive economic stimulus as the economic recovery from this spring's coronavirus lockdowns falters amid a nationwide spike in COVID-19 cases.

"What we were able to do was just kind of present the whole proposal so no commitments back and forth - but just kind of an explanation and walk through as to where we are", said Sen Lisa Murkowski, who was at the meeting along with Sens. Lawmakers and aides involved in the discussions said that proposal totaled around $1.3 trillion.

Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, another sponsor of the bipartisan plan, claimed "gathering momentum" for it, with "more" Republicans accepting the price tag compared with those opposing it. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) Shortly after being sworn in Wednesday, new Sen.

"For some reason, in the midst of this generational crisis, Republican Leader McConnell does not seem inclined to compromise", Schumer said. "It's time for us to step up, and our colleagues need to get behind this effort or out of the way".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to act on the bill, which would see $908 billion used to end stalled relief talks. It's a top priority of Pelosi and other Democrats but is opposed by many Republicans, who warn it would bail out states run by Democrats like California and NY. He gave no indication Thursday that he would go along with them.

The bipartisan bill is far short of the $2.2 trillion package Democrats sought but includes help for small businesses, unemployment support, and funding for coronavirus vaccine distribution.

But even as Pelosi and McConnell spoke Wednesday about their shared goal to finalize an agreement, there are still many landmines to navigate and major divisions between the two parties. He added there are enough Republicans and Democrats interested in passing a measure. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and others, leaves out the direct payments as well, and their up to $300 billion cost could render them too expensive for inclusion in the year-end package, though lawmakers ranging from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-Maine, to Sen.

The outgoing Trump administration has plans for procuring the medicine and shipping it around the country, but Biden said his team hasn't received anything about how to actually deploy it to individuals.

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