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Mon Oct 26, 2020, 05:39 PM

Covid Relief Bill: Takes Back Seat To Sup. Ct. & Election Republicans Are Losing Because of Covid

'Covid Relief Takes A Back Seat To Election Which Republicans Are Losing Because of Covid,' Daily Kos, 10/26/20. -Ed:

It's been 163 days since the House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act, & 25 days since the House passed their compromise $2.2 trillion bill, both of which McConnell has refused to take up. It is 8 days until the election & Republicans are planning their next Supreme Ct. superspreader party while COVID-19 is spreading faster & further than ever, & not just among WH staff. Speaker Nancy Pelosi & Treasury Sec. Mnuchin are still slogging away at negotiations for the next relief bill, with Mnuchin expected to respond to the "list of concerns" Pelosi said she gave him on Friday.

- "My understanding is he will be reviewing that over the weekend and we will have some answers on Monday," she told CNN Sunday. WH Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN Sunday, "We continue to make offer after offer after offer, and Nancy Pelosi keeps moving the goalposts," so a deal is not imminent. But Meadows also told CNN that the White House isn't trying to "control the pandemic," so why should they be bothered by the effects of it? -

An issue that was still outstanding, Pelosi said Sunday, was a testing & tracing plan, seemingly a relatively easy part of the negotiations that has hit some kind of snag. On Monday, Pelosi told House Democrats that even after Mnuchin said publicly 10 days ago that he was accepting that testing plan, "the administration still refuses to do so." She added: "Unless we have a national plan for testing, tracing, treatment, mask-wearing, social distancing & other science-based steps to crush the virus & combat the disparities facing communities of color, we cannot safely reopen our schools & economy." She also low-key dinged Meadows & his assertion that the administration wasn't trying to control the virus, saying:

"The Republicans' continued surrender to the virus—particularly amid the recent wave of cases—is official malfeasance."

That snag over testing language could be Trump, who continues to insist that there wouldn't be any cases if there wasn't any testing. "If we did half the testing, we would have half the cases," said Trump. "If we did no testing—like many countries—we would have very few cases." The White House has come up to nearly $2 trillion, closer to the House's $2.2 trillion mark. Pelosi has suggested that one of the key outstanding issues—the Republican insistence on lifting liability for businesses—might have a compromise "whereby companies following strong government Covid recommendations could claim compliance as a defense in civil lawsuits by employees." There could also be agreement on the other big issue—state & local aid—with a reinvestment of existing funds and some moving around of money.

The largest problem always has been and remains McConnell. His refusal to negotiate or to bring a House-passed bill to the floor for nearly 6 months has been the major factor in the economic & public health disaster we're now in...


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