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Liability shield fight threatens to blow up relief talks

Liability shield fight threatens to blow up relief talks

by ALEXANDER BOLTON - The Hill  |  Published on July 30, 2020

A sharp disagreement over whether to provide coronavirus liability protections to businesses, schools and other organizations has quickly emerged as one of the biggest obstacles to getting a deal on COVID-19 relief legislation.

Both sides are digging in, with Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) and Democratic leaders — Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) — calling the issue a looming dealbreaker.

Not only is the disagreement standing in the way of passing the first major coronavirus package since late March, it’s also pitting key Republican and Democratic constituencies against each other: the business community versus unions and trial lawyers.

Negotiations between the White House and congressional Democrats stalled this week largely because of the standoff over the liability shield in the GOP’s coronavirus package unveiled Monday.

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