UPDATED 1:13 PM PT – Friday, December 18, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) said he’s “more optimistic” about reaching a stimulus deal. This comes after venting frustrations about the pace of negotiations on Thursday.
In a statement released on Friday, McConnell said talks remain productive. He also praised lawmakers for working on the deal “round the clock.”
Productive conversations remain underway on COVID-19 relief. But Congress must not slide into treating these talks like routine negotiations at our routine pace.
This could not be more urgent. The Senate’s going to keep working right through the weekend until we get an outcome. pic.twitter.com/aXGTFunsPH
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) December 17, 2020
The deal is expected to include another round of stimulus checks and financial relief for small businesses, schools and the airline industry. It is also expected to comprise funding for vaccine testing and distribution.
Congress is racing against a midnight deadline when government funding expires. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), a ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said a deal is immanent.