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Stimulus update: Extra unemployment or second checks could be on the chopping block in competing packages

The clusterjam of semi-dysfunctional negotiations continues in Washington as Congress rolls into month nine of trying to pass a second stimulus package for coronavirus relief. The good news: Everyone is back at the table. The bad news: They’re at different tables.

WHAT’S THE LATEST?

A bipartisan group of Congresspeople have been feverishly working on a proposal for weeks. They now have the support of both Democratic leaders and centrist Republicans. Yesterday, the White House released a counterproposal.

ARE THE TWO PROPOSALS CLOSE TOGETHER?

Kinda. The White House bill is $916 billion, and the bipartisan bill is $908 billion. This is huge progress.

WHERE IS MITCH MCCONNELL IN THIS?

As usual, on his own horse somewhere in Kentucky. He controls whether the bill reaches the Senate floor. This year he has repeatedly proposed “skinny” bills of around $500 billion, much lower than the $3 trillion-plus proposal that Democrats had been sticking to.

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