Senate to take up COVID-19 relief next week

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Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Thursday his chamber will begin work on a COVID-19 relief package next week, urging his colleagues to act fast.

The New York Democrat said news Thursday that the economy shrank 3.5% in the last year — the worst since World War II — increases the pressure on lawmakers to provide help to closing businesses, schools that are still closed and families who have mortgages coming due.

“Given these economic numbers, the need to act big and bold is urgent,” Mr. Schumer said. “We need recovery and rescue quickly. Everywhere you look alarm bells are ringing.”

Democrats plan to work in a bipartisan manner on the relief package, Mr. Schumer said, but he left the door open to push them out of the process if necessary. 

“If our Republican colleagues decide to oppose this urgent and necessary legislation, we will have to move forward without them,” he said.

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