Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday he is optimistic an agreement can be reached for a pandemic stimulus measure that has stalled since the spring.
Schumer, speaking at an unrelated news conference at a hospital in Fulton County, pointed to staff-level talks that are underway that includes Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office.
"There's a little bit of good news as of today," Schumer said. "Last night, they've agreed to sit down and the staffs are going to sit down today or tomorrow to try to begin see if we can get a COVID relief bill."
The status of these talks, though, has been disputed: Republicans say the discussions center around funding the government ahead of a December deadline.
The measure would come as COVID cases are rising across the country and in New York. States across the country are taking steps to stem the spread of the virus by placing new restrictions on businesses and gatherings.
A bill could likely mean more money for people who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic as well as support for small businesses and industries like airlines and restaurants that have seen a steep drop off in customers this year.
Asked if he wanted a bill during a lameduck session of Congress or potentially a larger one in 2021, Schumer said "the sooner the better."
Another stimulus measure, one that could benefit state and local governments, is expected to be pushed by Joe Biden's incoming administration in the new year.