Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “compromise is within reach" as Democrats and Republicans continue to discuss a new stimulus package before the end of the year. McConnell reiterated his desire to pass a narrow bill that addresses issues with bipartisan support, like small business aid and vaccine distribution funding.
- On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer endorsed a $908B bipartisan package as a starting ground for new talks. Previously the two had held out for $2.2T.
- McConnell has dismissed the bipartisan bill and is aiming to pass a $500B package that Senate Democrats have previously blocked.
- The $908B bill contains $160B in funding for state and local governments, along with $180B for additional unemployment benefits. McConnell's bill calls for extending the paycheck protection program, along with COVID-19 liability protections for businesses and universities, which is something Democrats have long opposed.
- Neither bill contains another round of the $1,200 stimulus checks that were part of the CARES Act passed in March.
- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who negotiated with Pelosi for months and previously offered $1.8T, said he backed McConnell's bill. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy does as well.
- On Thursday, President Trump said he would sign a new bill, but has yet to directly comment on the bipartisan bill. He has previously urged Republicans to "go big."