Lawmakers Offer $908B Coronavirus Deal, But McConnell Crafts Something Else

Just hours after a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers revealed a $908 billion legislative framework to try to break a months-long impasse on a new round of pandemic-related relief measures, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he’s talking to administration officials about a separate coronavirus bill that President Trump will sign.

“Waiting for next year is not an answer,” McConnell said. He also said a spending bill being negotiated now by the House and Senate would serve as a vehicle for passing more pandemic aid.

“It will all likely come in one package,” McConnell said.

McConnell shared a framework of his new proposal totaling more than $500 billion with Republican senators later Tuesday and said he was awaiting their feedback. Among its highlights, the plan would direct $332.7 billion to small businesses, including the popular Paycheck Protection Program; $105 billion for schools; and $31 billion for vaccine distribution, therapeutics and medical supplies. It doesn’t include aid for state and local governments, a top priority for Democrats.

GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who reviewed McConnell’s new plan, called it “an encouraging development.”


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