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Pelosi optimistic, says momentum growing for COVID-19 relief

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave an optimistic assessment of the prospects for a mid-sized COVID-19 relief bill and a separate $1.4 trillion governmentwide spending bill on Friday, teeing up expectations for a successful burst of legislative action to reverse months of frustration on pandemic relief.

Pelosi told reporters that she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are in sync on a plan to reach agreement on the massive omnibus spending bill and to add COVID-19 relief to it.

Pelosi said a bipartisan, middle-of-the-road plan being finalized by a diverse gaggle of senators that she has endorsed as a foundation for the relief bill is a good effort, even though it’s a significant retreat from where Democrats stood before the election.

“It’s a good product,” Pelosi said. “It’s not everything we want.” Pelosi had dismissed an even larger package floated by moderates in September as inadequate, but said that the looming arrival of vaccines and President-elect Joe Biden’s victory are a “game changer” that should guarantee more aid next year and the elimination of the pandemic. She called the bill a bridge “until the inauguration and the emergence of the vaccine.”

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