“I gather [Pelosi] and the Democratic leader in the Senate still are looking at something dramatically larger,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters. “That’s not a place I think we’re willing to go. But I do think there needs to be another package. Hopefully we can get past the impasse we’ve had now for four or five months and get serious about doing something that’s appropriate.” – Advertisement – “We’re at the same place, even more so with the pandemic,” she said. “Because look at those numbers!”Her comments reflect a fundamental disagreement with Republicans over what the U.S. needs to recover from the pandemic. The gulf has lingered throughout start-and-stop talks between Pelosi and the White House.On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged the need for another aid package but said it should resemble the GOP’s $500 billion proposal that Senate Democrats blocked before the election.- Advertisement – The top Democrats in Congress said Thursday that a record surge in U.S. coronavirus infections raises the urgency for a new relief bill.The part of the process that has confounded Washington for months — crafting a bill backed by both Democrats and Republicans — has become no less of a challenge since Election Day.Speaking to reporters in Washington, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she still supports legislation to inject at least $2.2 trillion into the American health-care system and economy. The California Democrat, who will see her party’s majority shrink by at least six seats after the 2020 election, cited Wednesday’s record 143,231 new Covid-19 infections as reason to stick to a spending demand the GOP has seen as unreasonable.- Advertisement – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer indicated again Thursday that Democrats would block a bill similar to the one Republicans previously crafted. The New York Democrat called it a “nonstarter” as he backed Pelosi’s stance of at least $2.2 trillion in new spending.Schumer also contended many GOP senators’ refusal to acknowledge Democrat Joe Biden as president-elect — while President Donald Trump levels baseless charges of electoral fraud — has hampered efforts to govern during the crisis.“Joe Biden has won. Now move on and work with us to solve the Covid crisis,” he said. “Let us bring the country together and get things done.”Lawmakers would have to overcome a number of challenges to pass pandemic relief legislation before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20. Among the barriers, Trump has showed little interest in anything other than fighting the election results since Nov. 3.Biden has listed coronavirus aid as one of his top priorities when he enters office. Control of Congress during his presidency is an open question.The GOP will keep a narrow Senate majority unless Democrats can win two likely runoffs in Georgia in January. Even if Democrats win both races, they would achieve a 50-50 split, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris holding a tiebreaking vote.Democrats could also end up with 224 seats or even less in the House, according to NBC News estimates, giving Pelosi a smaller margin of error for party defections on legislation.Headline economic numbers in the U.S. have improved: initial jobless claims lingered near their lowest levels of the pandemic last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. Even so, more than 21 million Americans remain on some form of unemployment assistance, and economic pain could sharpen as more states consider restrictions to slow the spiking infection rate.Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks after the Senate Republican GOP leadership election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. November 10, 2020.Erin Scott | Reuters US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (R), Democrat of California, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York hold a press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on November 6, 2020.Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images – Advertisement –
A store clerk at an undisclosed location is reporting that when he asked a customer to follow the governor’s and the store’s mandate regarding mask the customer threatened him with a gun.The incident was reported at a pet store in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Thursday.Cody Westfall says a day after the governor mandated that mask must be worn in public places, a customer walked into the store without a mask. That’s when Westfall asked if he had a mask.“I asked ‘do you happen to have a mask on you? He said,’ no’ kind of dismissively,” Westfall said.Moments later the customer turned back to Westfall and asked “are you going to make me wear a mask?”Westfall replied that ” not only is it a personal preference for our store but as of yesterday, it is now government mandated.”At that point, Westfall said the man gestured to the gun on his hip and asked “are you sure you’re going to make me wear a mask?”Westfall says the man did the gesture a second time and that’s when Westfall knew the man was threatening him.The man then left the store and Westfall called the police.The Albuquerque Police Department was able to identify the man who lives in Rio Rancho. An off-duty officer from the area was sent to the home where they made contact with the man but no report was filed.While there have been no charges filed as of yet, Westfall says he would like charges to be filed because not only did he feel personally threatened but he feels that people who take their refusal to wear a mask that far are a threat to everyone.Albuquerue police say they have forwarded their report to a specialized unit for further review.