Top Senate Democrat says momentum growing for state aid package

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) carries his face mask as he arrives inside the U.S. Capitol after it was announced U.S. congressional leaders and the White House agreed on nearly $500 billion more in coronavirus relief for the U.S. economy, bringing to nearly $3 trillion the amount allocated to deal with the crisis, in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate said on Friday that momentum is gathering behind efforts to provide federal assistance to state and local governments hit by the coronavirus epidemic, despite opposition from the Senate’s top Republican.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he is seeing “more momentum for state and local assistance” in the next coronavirus assistance package, despite opposition to such action from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“We can force it to happen in the COVID-4 bill. And I think there is enough bipartisan support, despite what McConnell did, to get that done,” he said in an interview with National Public Radio.

Reporting by David Morgan and Susan Heavey; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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