WASHINGTON — Lawmakers are growing ever more frustrated with each other as they still cannot come to an agreement on a coronavirus relief package. Republicans continue to blame Democrats for the stalemate over the issue and vice versa.
“It’s December and we still don’t have a coronavirus relief package,” said Sen. Todd Young of Indiana. “People are hurting. They’re beyond frustrated with this whole exercise.”
Young urged lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass what they agree upon right now, and then focus on what they don’t agree upon afterward. So far he says both sides seem to agree on quite a lot in the current Senate version of the bill.
“Republicans have actually put forth a package that can be signed into law,” he said. “One that provides to schools and students. One that provides assistance to our hard-hit small businesses.”
However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), calls the bill “partisan” and urged Republicans and Democrats alike that both sides need to be willing to compromise. He said a coronavirus relief bill needs to be a “top priority.”
Young believes that Democrats are not making COVID relief a top priority.
“It seems the House is focused on other priorities,” said Young. “We just heard that they are focused on something pertaining to marijuana and giving more consideration to marijuana policy. That can be debated, but the far left needs to sort of cool their jets right now.”
He again mentioned his RESTART Act, a bipartisan bill he co-authored with Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett of Colorado. He said the bill now has 58 co-sponsors in the Senate and around 180 in the House.
Young said both chambers need to at least pass the RESTART Act in order to renew Paycheck Protection Program loans and provide other means of assistance to the country’s small businesses.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday they have an idea of what President Trump would be willing to sign in to law, now it’s a matter of getting more feedback from lawmakers in Congress.