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Congress has been wrestling with a pandemic relief bill of varying sizes since the summer. Several times, the two sides were close to a deal. But two issues always popped up to scuttle any agreement between House Democrats and Senate Republicans.Funding for state and local government — “The blue-state bailout” — and limiting liability related to the coronavirus — “greedy corporate bailout” — is forcing members to posture for their bases, seeing the issues as absolutely vital to passage.
The $908 billion bipartisan bill suggested by the Problem Solver’s Caucus actually contains both money for states — $180 billion — and limited liability protections. But it’s not good enough for either side and in familiar fashion, leaders of both parties are beginning to threaten to pull out of any deal unless they get their way.
“State and local money is tied to liability …