In this Nov. 17, 2020, file photo, Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, walks through a corridor at the Capitol in Washington. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine says he’s involved in a bipartisan effort to craft a pandemic relief package for consideration in December.

King says senators from both parties have been negotiating through the holiday break to prepare a significant relief package for Congress to consider in the next few weeks.

“We are aiming to try and have at least one bipartisan package to present next week. That’s the goal,” he says.

King says discussions are focused on the overall size of the package, with Democrats seeking a higher dollar amount. He says aid to states and municipalities and liability issues surrounding the treatment of COVID-19 are also driving the negotiations.

“We’ve got food banks having demand they have never had before, people are being evicted, unemployment insurance is running out for many people, so it’s a serious situation,” he says. “I can tell you that I know of at least two groups in the Senate, bipartisan groups, that are trying to find a solution.”

King says there is general agreement on the need for additional unemployment assistance.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.