Congressional leaders look forward to reaching agreement on coronavirus relief


WASHINGTON – Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress have expressed hope for an agreement on a new round of coronavirus relief that has eluded legislators for months.

“I think we’re heading in the right direction,” House Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy said after two rounds of talks. “I think there is an opportunity to complete this work.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attended the meetings.

“We’ve made progress and hopefully we can come to an agreement soon,” Schumer said. “I think there is a sincere desire to come to an agreement.”

If no agreement is reached, some key programs will expire at the end of the month.

These include unemployment benefits, which receive 12 million Americans, and a moratorium on eviction from rented housing, thanks to which 40 million Americans have a roof over their heads during the cold winter months.

The short-term extended funding for the US government also expires on Friday.

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