US senators seek coronavirus stimulus deal

Alayna Treene

WASHINGTON DC: At least eight Republican and Democratic senators have formed a working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

It may be the most significant bipartisan step to-ward COVID relief in mo-nths. But, but, but: Most la-wmakers still see only a small chance for passage of a comprehensive stimulus package before the end of the year, given how far ap-art Republicans and Demo-crats remain on key priorities. These negotiations are taking place against the backdrop of stalled talks between House and Senate leadership and the outgoing Trump administration.

The group includes GOP Senators Mitt Romney, Rob Portman, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Pat Toomey, and Democrats Chris Coons, Joe Manchin, and Michael Bennet, sources said.

Their talks center on tying aid to the FY 2021 government spending bill that must pass by Dec. 11.

They would renew some modest provisions — like giving states another year to spend the money allocated to them in the CARES Act passed in March, and reauthorizing the small-business Paycheck Protec-tion Program and Small Business Administration loan forgiveness program for another year.

Politico first reported on the group aiming to revive stimulus talks. (Axios)

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