The Hill, which specializes in legislative issues, said Wednesday that the four main leaders of Congress met twice on Tuesday to try to finance the government by Friday and break the month-long deadlock to provide more help on the new coronavirus.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters they were "close" to a compromise, but did not say whether he believed it could be reached by Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell, who leads the Senate for the Republicans, expressed his optimism that they would reach the goal "soon" but did not say when.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) indicated that they are getting closer in negotiations to avoid the closing.
"Senator Bernie Sanders has threatened to shut down the US government next week and keep lawmakers in Washington through Christmas unless they submit to his demand for another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for most Americans." #StimulusORShutdownhttps://t.co/XIuVS5COYx
After their lengthy exchanges, both factions of parliament hope to provide some relief for the new coronavirus in a comprehensive funding bill, which would keep the government open until October 1, according to news reports.
Congress has until the end of Friday to pass a bill to finance the government or have a holiday shutdown.
If a deal is not reached, lawmakers will need to pass a third interim continuity bill to gain more time, otherwise the government will be closed.
On the other hand, McConnell promised Tuesday that the Senate would not leave the city during the year until more aid is approved, something that has not happened since April 2020.
Republicans have been pushing for months for Congress to pass a $500 billion aid bill, while Democratic forces are proposing a $908 billion package from a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers.