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Klobuchar says she feels "positive" about prospect of COVID relief bill

Sen. Klobuchar & Rep. Emmer on "The Takeout"
Senator Amy Klobuchar & Representative Tom Emmer on "The Takeout" — 12/18/20 45:27

As congressional leaders continue to engage in negotiations over a coronavirus relief bill, Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar says she feels "positive" that there will be a deal soon.

"I am very positive about this," Klobuchar said in an interview with CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett for this week's episode of "The Takeout" podcast. Garrett also spoke with Republican Congressman Tom Emmer for this week's episode, a forum discussion hosted by Economic Club of Minnesota.

Highlights from this week's episode:

  • Senator Amy Klobuchar on the prospects of getting a deal on coronavirus relief: "I am very positive about this."
  • Congressman Tom Emmer on timeline for passing relief bill: "We're hopeful maybe with a short CR we could be lucky over the weekend."
  • Klobuchar on effects of pandemic: "This pandemic put a big magnifying glass on some of the needs we have in our country."
  • Emmer on when presidential election results will be final: "I think January 6 is probably a date that we can point to."

Emmer said that while there had been "hundreds" of outstanding issues between negotiators last week, now there are only a "handful."

"We're hopeful maybe with a short CR we could be lucky over the weekend," Emmer said, referring to a continuing resolution that would extend government funding for a brief period of time from its current expiration date of December 18.

Klobuchar and Emmer outlined some of the items the bill would include, such as additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and relief for renters facing eviction. It's also likely to provide an additional  $300-per-week benefit on top of a state's unemployment insurance.

Klobuchar referred to the bill as "short-term," and said that some of the issues it doesn't address, such as funding for state and local governments, would have to be picked up when the new Congress convenes next year.

"I think there will be more work (that) needs to be done," Klobuchar said. "This pandemic put a big magnifying glass on some of the needs we have in our country."

Emmer also declined to acknowledge that Joe Biden is the president-elect, even though the Electoral College certified the election results on Monday. He said that "we need to respect the process" as there is ongoing litigation brought by the Trump campaign challenging the election results in some states.

However, he indicated that he might acknowledge Mr. Biden as president-elect on January 6, when Congress meets to count and certify the Electoral College's count.

"I think it's going to be very soon," Emmer said about when he thinks the election results would be final. "I think January 6 is probably a date that we can point to."

Klobuchar, who is on the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, also discussed the scaled-down inauguration events that will occur next month.

"It is going to be a much more trimmed down, but the key event is going to occur as it should, and that is the peaceful transition of power with members of both parties behind the president," Klobuchar said.

For more of Major's conversation with Klobuchar and Emmer, download "The Takeout" podcast on Art19, iTunesGooglePlaySpotify and Stitcher. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch "The Takeout" on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of "The Takeout" episodes, visit And you can listen to "The Takeout" on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).  

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