Talks resume on coronavirus relief bill, but some in Congress doubt any progress will be made

Washington DC Bureau
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WASHINGTON D.C. (WCMH) — After a weeks-long stalemate, there is some movement in Congress on a new coronavirus relief bill.

While both sides are talking about what the package would look like, there’s a lot they still don’t agree on.

“We should be making the effort,” Indiana Repubican Senator Mike Braun said.

But Braun doesn’t expect that effort to pass another coronavirus relief bill will pay off anytime soon.

“I think we’re so far apart and we’re getting every day too close to the election,” he said.

After a 25 minute phone call Thursday, following three weeks of silence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows made no headway on another round of talks.

“They’re not trying anything,” Pelosi said.

Before that call, Pelosi said Democrats offered to cut a trillion dollars from their plan if the Republicans would add that same amount.

“We have said to them we’re willing to meet you in the middle,” she said.

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admitted something needs to happen.

“The popular PPP program needs replenishing. We need to do something about extending unemployment,” McConnell said. “There’s a need and I hope the need will overcome the desire to play games before the election.”

But Braun says there’s plenty of money still unspent from the CARES Act.

“Several of us more conservative fiscally responsible Senators have been looking to see how we can re-purpose that,” he said.

Braun says that route would get help to people faster and save money.

“Get it in the places where it didn’t hit home early and that would cost a whole lot less than a trillion,” he said.

Pelosi said Democrats will resume negotiations if Republicans “start taking this process seriously.”

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