Tags: manchin | coronavirus | bill | mcconnell

Manchin: A 'Real Shame' That Relief Bill Talks Are at a Standstill

graphic shows the words stimulus package and covid-19 in blue on a notebook
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By    |   Tuesday, 04 August 2020 12:43 PM

It's a "real shame" that coronavirus relief bill talks remain in a stalemate, as people need assistance right away, Sen. Joe Manchin said Tuesday. 

"(Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell is the leader of the majority of the party in charge, and he hasn't called us together since the first COVID package went out," the West Virginia Democrat said on CNN's "New Day." "Knowing that we'd run into the wall that we have, knowing they're not going to talk, somebody has to start talking. A lot of us are gathered, trying to get ideas of what would you agree to on this."

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows will return to Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon for further negotiations, and Manchin noted that although they have said the talks are moving in a positive way, "just meeting and talking seems to be positive anymore."

But while the talks continue, Manchin said he is working with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to discuss bipartisan solutions on telehealth and remote learning, and he's working with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on solutions for rural broadband. 

"The other thing is rural hospitals, said Manchin. "I have had three rural hospitals in West Virginia close recently. How in the world do you close a medical facility in the middle of the pandemic? So we have to get assistance to the people on the front line and we're talking hard."

The senator also addressed the growing concerns over the United States Postal Service, noting that letters went out to offices in his state notifying them they were to be closed. 

"I got involved and sent a letter immediately and they took those down," said Manchin. "You cannot close a post office, no way, shape, or form in this pandemic...it's a lifeline for America and a lifeline for healthcare. I see people get their medicines, their information, checks, everything. They're not connected to the 21st century of internet. They're relying on the postal office. We'll protect that and I think we have bipartisan support."

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It's a "real shame" that coronavirus relief bill talks remain in a stalemate, as people need assistance right away, Sen. Joe Manchin said Tuesday. 
manchin, coronavirus, bill, mcconnell
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2020-43-04
Tuesday, 04 August 2020 12:43 PM
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