President-elect Joe Biden signaled Tuesday that he would support additional COVID-19 relief beyond any aid package Congress could pass before the end of the year.
“Right now, the full Congress should come together and pass a robust package for relief to address these urgent needs,” Biden told reporters in Delaware. “But any package passed in a lame-duck session is likely to be, at best, just a start.”
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Biden added that his transition team was “already working” on additional relief measures to be proposed in the next session of Congress. The Biden-Harris team established a task force to combat the coronavirus pandemic following his inauguration next month.
Negotiations on additional COVID-19 relief have stalled for months in Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democratic leaders support a multi-trillion-dollar package with aid for state and local governments, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and top Republicans have called for a “skinny” package with targeted relief measures aimed at businesses.
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Earlier Tuesday, a bipartisan group of senators, including Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introduced a proposal for a $908 billion relief package that would provide aid for local governments as well as liability protections for businesses recovering from the pandemic.
Lawmakers have just days to reach an agreement on additional relief before Congress closes for the year.