Pelosi holds press conference amid COVID relief talks

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding her weekly press conference Thursday, after saying the bipartisan group of lawmakers engaged in negotiations over a coronavirus relief bill are nearing a deal.

“I think that we’re close. That’s what they tell me, those who are negotiating,” Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday.

Pelosi’s comments come after a bipartisan group of lawmakers circulated a framework for their $908 billion relief proposal Wednesday. The six-page summary obtained by CBS News does not include specifics on liability protections for companies and institutions whose workers get COVID-19 and aid to state and local governments, two of the major sticking points in negotiations.

How to watch Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s press conferenceWhat: Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly press conference todayDate: Thursday, December 10, 2020Time: 10:45 a.m. ETLocation: U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above or on your mobile streaming device

However, this framework is not a concrete bill, and lawmakers remain divided over the scale and scope of a relief package. Time is running out for Congress to pass any relief proposal, as it also must negotiate and approve an omnibus government funding bill before December 18 to avert a government shutdown.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement posted to Twitter on Tuesday that he had spoken to Speaker Nancy Pelosi this evening and made a $916 billion offer for a relief bill. But Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it “must not be allowed to obstruct the bipartisan Congressional talks that are underway.” They also rejected part of the White House proposal — a reduction in unemployment insurance funding from $180 billion to $40 billion. “That is unacceptable,” they wrote.

Schumer and Pelosi also condemned the suggestion by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that Congress drop the most controversial items from any coronavirus package to be picked up again at the beginning of the year.

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