ABOVE: Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) both appeared on the Tuesday edition of CBN News' Faith Nation to talk about the COVID-19 relief bill now being negotiated in Congress. Faith Nation is seen weeknights on the CBN News Channel.
Key negotiators are back at it on Capitol Hill, resuming talks on a possible coronavirus relief package today. And today lawmakers seem more hopeful than ever that a deal will be reached before too long.
Democrats and the White House say by the end of the week they'll finalize plans for a relief bill that helps the millions of Americans receiving unemployment and facing eviction.
"I'm hoping and praying for this week," Sen.Chris Coons (D-DE) told CBN News Reporter Jenna Browder, regarding a deal on this latest coronavirus relief package.
Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma also spoke to CBN News from the Capitol to discuss the latest on where things stand, and what he hopes to see in a bill. Click the video above to watch.
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One of the main sticking points centers around unemployment benefits. Democrats want the original $600 a week extended until January 2021. But that amount means some people are being paid more to stay unemployed than they were being paid to work. Republicans want to reduce the amount to $200 a week so workers will choose rejoin the economy to help America recover from the pandemic-induced recession.
Negotiations have also been bogged down trying to reconcile the Democrats' $3.4 trillion proposal with the Republicans' $1 trillion offering.
On Senate floor today, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took a few jabs at the Republican negotiators but struck an overall optimistic tone about where things currently stand in terms of getting a deal done.
He said, "I believe we're making progress. we came closer together on several issues. However, we remain far apart on a number of issues, but we're finally moving in the right direction."