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Politics

Chellie Pingree, Susan Collins Optimistic Pandemic Relief Bill Will Pass

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who both serve on their respective appropriations committees, say they’re optimistic that Congress will pass a pandemic relief bill this year.

Negotiations stalled just before the election, leaving the two parties far apart on the overall amount of the relief package. But Pingree believes an agreement can be reached in the weeks ahead.

“We may have the pieces to move forward on an agreement and that would be extremely important,” Pingree says. “There is just too much hanging in the balance, too many economic issues, from small businesses to unemployment.”

Collins also believes an agreement can be reached, and says it’s important that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House speaker Nancy Pelosi are now talking directly.

“It is essential that we pass anther COVID relief package both for public health concerns and to address the economic consequences of the virus,” she says.