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Relief Measure Near Death; Spending Bill Agreement Nears

Senate Republicans tried to put some life into the Coronavirus Relief legislation by considering a "skinny" bill that was reduced from the original Republican proposal of $1.2 billion down to $500 billion. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell couldn't get his Republican Caucus to support the larger measure, he was able to craft a bill that won the support of 52 of the 53 Senate Republicans by using his considerable negotiating skills.

The bill called for $300 of supplemental unemployment through the end of the year, a replenishment of the PPP small business program, money for schools and vaccines, and the Republican redline issue; liability protection. Ultimately, the measure was viewed as totally inadequate by Congressional Democrats who opposed the Senate measure, leaving the bill far short of the 60 votes needed for Senate passage.

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