The size of the COVID package may shrink to $ 10B as negotiations continue

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says a bipartisan package to cut new spending on the fight against Covid-19 could drop to 10 billion.

WASHINGTON – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the size of a bipartisan package to cover the new cost of tackling Covid-19 could shrink, and that the Chamber’s top Democrats could cut prices.

Negotiators have been working for weeks to revive the 15.6 billion deal earlier this month. It fell apart after House Democrats refused to cut back on epidemic aid to states to help pay for it, and parties split over how both sides could save.

The new money will be for the purchase of vaccines, treatments and tests, which the administration says are running low, and even more contagious Omicron variant BA.2 is spreading rapidly in the United States and abroad.

“It’s still a kind of work, but until last night, it looked like it would be less than 15 to 10,” McConnell, R-Ky., Said in an interview with Punchbowl News.

A few minutes later, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer went to the Senate floor and suggested a similar approach, although he did not mention any statistics.

“I’m urging my Republican colleagues to join us,” Schumer told DN.Y. “We want more than you, but we have to do something. We have to do something.”

Republicans have demanded that the measure be paid for by bringing back epidemic funds that were approved in previous relief measures but have not yet been spent. Bargainers on both sides said they were divided on how to do it.

McConnell says Democrats are saving about $ 100 billion, “reluctant to find another বিল 5 billion,” which has not yet been spent. Democrats say the cuts that Republicans are pushing for are unreasonable, such as reconsidering cuts already rejected in state aid.

McConnell said that reducing the size of the bill could mean omitting one-third of the measurements taken for vaccines and treatment abroad, “which I think is terribly unfortunate.”

Schumer said the difference between the two sides was “very narrow.” But he acknowledged the need to win GOP support in 50-50 chambers, where 60 votes are needed to pass most major bills.

“We want a lot more money than our Republican counterparts,” Schumer said. But in order to pass something through the Senate, we have to reach 60 votes. And so we’re going to emphasize that as much as possible. “

Biden initially requested $ 22.5 billion for the effort.

Asked if he thought an agreement could be reached before lawmakers leave, McConnell said: “We’ll see. I hope so. “

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