Although the economy is showing signs of recovery, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says work to develop and pass another coronavirus relief bill must remain a top priority.
The Senate reconvened on Monday, November 9, and stimulus talks are expected to pick up again after months of stalled negotiations, Bloomberg reported. McConnell told the chamber it needs to pass a second stimulus package in the “post-election congressional session,” the outlet continued.
The window is slated to close in the middle of December, according to Bloomberg.
“Our work is not finished,” the Senate majority leader expressed, Bloomberg reported. “Too many Americans are still suffering economically.”
McConnell also noted that the country’s economy is continuing to recover, despite the expiration of fiscal funding through the March CARES Act, Bloomberg said. Meanwhile, extended federal unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of the year, the outlet reported.
Data obtained by Bloomberg on Friday, November 6, shows that the jobless rate in October fell to 6.9%, down one percentage point.
“It turns out the news is a whole lot better” lately, McConnell said on the Senate floor on Monday, according to Bloomberg. “I hope our Democratic colleagues will finally put aside their all-or-nothing obstruction and let the targeted pandemic relief — targeted pandemic relief is what we need — let it move forward.”
A Senate-backed stimulus package is expected to be released on Tuesday, November 10, Bloomberg continued.
Here’s what you need to know:
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Is Speaking out Against Republican Senators
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer clashed with McConnell on Monday, November 9, during the chamber’s first meeting, Bloomberg said.
The Democrat accused Republicans of proposing “totally inadequate solutions” on coronavirus relief, Bloomberg added. Schumer’s comments dim “any hopes for an immediate package,” the outlet argued.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been discussing a package in the range of $1.8 trillion to $2.2 trillion, including extended unemployment benefits and another round of stimulus checks, The Washington Post reported.
McConnell, on the other hand, has been advocating for a targeted $500 billion package, excluding stimulus checks or state and local government funding, he announced in October.
Schumer on the Senate floor pushed for a “bipartisan solution” instead of Republicans’ previous proposals, Bloomberg reported.
Pfizer Recently Announced Its Coronavirus Vaccine Was More Than 90% Effective During Phase 3 Trials
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced on Monday, November 9, that the coronavirus vaccine they’ve been working on has been more than 90% effective during phase 3 trials.
Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla expressed optimism surrounding the new development, stating:
Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19. We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.
Bloomberg added that the announcement quickly “spurred a rally in U.S. equities” that same day.