Senate stimulus negotiators try to reach deal on whether companies can be sued over virus outbreaks
By Eli Rosenberg, Jeff Stein and Mike DeBonis
One of the thorniest issues facing the bipartisan stimulus negotiations is the insistence by Senate Republicans that businesses and other entities have sweeping immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits.
Many Democrats have refused to agree to such language, saying it could imperil workers.
But now both sides are attempting to craft a compromise on the “liability shield,” worried that the prolonged impasse could derail the broader spending bill at a time when the economy appears to be softening.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a statement on Tuesday night, said that the White House’s latest offer of a $916 billion package included “robust liability protections for businesses, schools, and universities,” illustrating how the issue remains paramount for Republicans.
A half-dozen senators met on Monday night in the Mansfield Room in the Capitol, and multiple lawmakers expressed renewed optimism about the possibility of a deal being within reach, but the liability issue will have to be resolved.