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Bipartisan talks underway for the next round of COVID-19 funding, but significant roadblocks remain

Bipartisan talks underway for the next round of COVID-19 funding, but significant roadblocks remain
Posted at 7:48 AM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 07:48:56-04

As lawmakers begin bipartisan talks for another round of COVID-19 stimulus funding, divisions between the White House and Congress are threatening its passage.

Republican congressional leaders met with Trump on Monday at the White House as cases spike across the country and key provisions of the last stimulus package, like increased unemployment benefits, are set to expire in the coming days.

Trump says “good things” are happening, but the administration is stiffening its opposition to more testing money and interjecting other priorities that could complicate passage.

According to The Washington Post, a bill coming together between GOP lawmakers will embrace Trump's priorities like payroll tax cuts, measures incentivizing schools to reopen in the fall with additional funding and little aid to state and local governments. Some of those points have already raised concerns with several Republican lawmakers, while the bill will undoubtedly face pushback from Democrats.

According to The Associated Press, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is prepared to roll out the Republican plan in a matter of days, which should total about $1 trillion in funding. The Democrats introduced a $3 trillion HEROES Act stimulus package in May, which has already passed the House. McConnell and the Republican-controlled Senate have not considered that bill for passage.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering