COVID-19 relief negotiations continue

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WASHINGTON, DC – House and Senate leadership are on the cusp of striking a COVID-19 relief deal after months of back-and-forth without an agreement.

The 900 Billion dollar relief package would include another round of stimulus checks, expanded unemployment, and more help to small businesses.

NewsChannel 34’s Morgan Wright reports on where lawmakers stand on passing more pandemic relief as the deadline to do so draws near.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says lawmakers will likely work through the weekend to finalize another round of pandemic relief.

{Senator Chris Murphy, D/CT} (we need unemployment funding to be extended), we can’t have those benefits lapse at the end of the year, small businesses in Connecticut need another round of funding, and then some way some how we’ve got to get money down to the states.

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy says he’s urging House and Senate leadership like Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to negotiate a deal that addresses the real concerns of struggling Americans.

{Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D/NY} while many if not all of the difficult topics are behind us a few final issues must be hammered out.

Both sides say they’re making progress by leaving out key provisions like liability protections and aid to state and local governments which has held back progress for months.

{Congressman Tom Reed, R/NY} when the 160 billion dollars of state and local aid was taken off the pot that made there be head room in the package.

New York Congressman Tom Reed says he’s optimistic the relief package is on its way – with another round of stimulus checks to Americans.

{Congressman Tom Reed, R/NY} we’re going to be voting here in the House and then its up to the Senate to get this to the President’s desk

Reed says those direct checks will be in the $600 – $700 range.

{Congressman Tom Reed, R/NY} there’s a great amount of relief in there and we’re going to go into the new year with that type of relief being delivered.

Lawmakers currently face a deadline of midnight Friday.

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