“Congress is filled with lots of great actors. It is devoid of action,” said moderate Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), a member of the Problems Solvers Caucus who has been involved in the bipartisan discussions. “There’s a massive disconnect between those who have been elected to leadership in our respective chambers and caucuses and between the rank-and-file members.” The odds of passing a new tranche of relief are still daunting. Yet the outcome of the long-shot effort could offer a key glimpse into what Washington will look like with Joe Biden in the White House. With razor-thin majorities in both the House and Senate and party divisions sharper than ever, moderates will be key to whether Biden accomplishes anything meaningful during his tenure. And their moves this week suggest they’re finally ready to push their leadership to the table. “This model of how we're working together, to me, is exactly the model to get things done in the next Congress,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus. McConnell has continued pushing a smaller Republican-preferred “targeted” relief bill, even amid the bipartisan progress. But some in the GOP say his position might not be sustainable. “We had a real breakthrough,” said Collins, who met with McConnell and other centrist Republicans Thursday. “I was surprised to have the leader dismiss it so quickly. And I’m disappointed in that. I hope he will [come around]. We need to get 60 votes to pass something in the Senate. And I don’t see his proposal garnering 60 votes.” Others were not so optimistic: “I'm not prepared to say that's something that I think is a 60/40 chance in the next two weeks is the new MO for Congress the next two years,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). But he said the looming Georgia runoffs, which will determine control of the Senate, could be weighing on Republican leaders as they deliberate whether to move forward with the bipartisan framework. The jolt toward a possible compromise continued Thursday, with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) leaving a meeting with Trump at the White House on Thursday afternoon declaring he’s “never been more hopeful that we’ll get a bill,” though he said the policy differences remain. “I don’t know whether the Senate will pass our bill exactly as we negotiated it, or whether it will be used cafeteria-style with portions picked by [leaders] in putting together the omnibus bill. But it’s pretty clear to me there’s growing support in our caucus and apparently the Democratic Caucus behind our bill,” Romney added in an interview. Many of the rank-and-file members who helped revive talks had been growing more furious by the day as a stimulus deal slipped past August, and then again in September and October. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases flooded hospitals in dozens of states and battered the economy. Congress, too, saw its own cluster of cases, offering further urgency for lawmakers to reach a deal swiftly and avoid the Capitol complex. Th . . . read the full article here.