An agreement on coronavirus relief could come if "five or six people would just come off their high horses" and sit down and bargain, Rep. Tom Cole said Tuesday.
"The choice is not between $2.2 trillion and $1 trillion," the Oklahoma Republican said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "It's really between about a trillion and a half and zero and the only reason it's at zero is because we have people unwilling to put on the floor things that both sides agree to."
Both sides agree on $105 billion to reopen schools and on stimulus payments for people making less than $75,000 a year, said Cole.
"We need more help for small businesses," he added. "The best thing we can do for whoever the next president is to act now. That will help the economy enormously and it will keep us on what's been a positive trajectory for about the last 10, 12 weeks."
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the underlying economy was robust, and it still is, said Cole.
"You can see this as an economy or a pandemic that hits in enormously disparate ways ... this is a pretty good year if you're working at Amazon. They're hiring people, adding people. (They're doing the) same thing at Microsoft and with all the big tech, so parts of the economy are doing pretty well."
Cole added that once a vaccine is ready, things will change as well, and "we'll have a vaccine at extraordinary speed."
It's immaterial if the vaccine comes before or after the election, he said, because it will arrive faster than any other vaccine in human history and "we'll have the ability to distribute it faster."
Cole also on Tuesday dismissed claims that mail-in balloting will bring election fraud.
"I used to be a secretary of state," he said. "I'm not worried about the elections being corrupted. I do worry a lot about people saying they're going to be corrupted, delegitimizing them in advance and I see that on both sides."
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