White House, Democrats Face Senate Republican Opposition on Coronavirus Aid

182

Congressional Democrats and The White House kept up negotiations on Wednesday on a coronavirus relief bill, their effort faced opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate.

After passing more than $3 trillion in relief early this year, aimed at helping the heavy human and economic toll of the pandemic, Congress has failed to pass any new measures since April. 

Trump has increasingly called for action, but proposals for comprehensive relief have met resistance from Senate Republicans. 

Democratic House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Trump’s lead negotiator, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are hammering out details of a relief package that could be in the range of $2.2 trillion, the number Democrats have been pushing for months. 

Senate Majority Leader McConnell does not want to bring a large coronavirus aid bill to the Senate floor before the election, a senior Republican aide said, as he focuses on trying to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. 

The White House insists that a bipartisan agreement between Pelosi and Mnuchin would find enough votes for passage in the Senate, where Republicans hold a 53-47 majority. 

But there were no signs that those lawmakers would go along with anything near the $2 trillion mark.