Both parties looking for a path forward on COVID-19 relief bill

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Some Senate Democrats say they support attaching a robust COVID 19 relief bill to the government funding bill that Congress must pass before December 11th, or risk triggering a government shutdown.

NewsChannel 34’s Morgan Wright shows us that leaders from both parties are looking for a path forward.

{Senator Chris Van Hollen, D/MD} “Let’s just get together and figure out a way forward.”

Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen is ready to try a new way to bring Senate Republicans to the negotiating table.

{Senator Chris Van Hollen, D/MD} “I think the way forward here is to attach a negotiated emergency covid 19 relief bill to the bill that we need to pass to keep the government operating.”

Funding for the federal government expires on December 11th, and Van Hollen’s fellow Democratic Senator Chris Murphy says pressure to avoid a shutdown may give them the leverage they need to make a deal.

{Senator Chris Murphy, D/CT} “I’m open to any option that would get relief to folks in Connecticut as soon as possible, and that includes attaching some covid spending like the extension of unemployment benefits to the budget or to the continuing resolution.”

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy says the time to act is now.

{Senator Chris Murphy, D/CT} “We just need to get something done and I’m willing to compromise.”

The sticking point for more relief remains to be the pricetag. But after months of deadlock, some republicans may be willing to budge.

{Senator Lindsey Graham, R/SC} “I think we need more than 500 billion.”

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham says a larger bill is needed to meet the moment.

{Senator Lindsey Graham, R/SC} “I hope we can get Mitch and Nancy to go ahead and do a deal.”

But McConnell says Democrats two-trillion dollar package isn’t going anywhere.

{Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R/KY} “The problem is that their proposal is multi-trillion dollar laughing stock that never had a chance at becoming law.”

Reporting in Washington, I’m Morgan Wright.

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