COVID Relief Bill Is Hanging On By Its Fingernails

Rod Lamkey - Cnp/CNP via ZUMA

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The two biggest impediments to passing a COVID relief bill are money for local governments (opposed by Republicans) and liability protections for businesses (opposed by Democrats). So maybe the folks who designed the bipartisan $908 billion rescue package should just ditch both of them for now?

In a desperate bid to reach agreement, that group of lawmakers decided over the weekend to split their proposal into two pieces — carving out the most contentious items, money for local governments and liability protections for businesses, into a separate bill. The other bill, with a $748 billion price tag, would include broadly bipartisan funding for schools and health care.

This is hardly an ideal solution, but it would get unemployment relief to those who have been furloughed because of the pandemic. Apparently the plan now is to try and get the $748 billion package appended to the omnibus spending bill, which has to be passed within the next week. Here’s hoping.

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