10.48am GMT

The last few months of the Trump administration were marked by an impasse between Democrats and Republicans in Congress over what should go into an economic relief bill for a country stricken with the coronavirus. The Biden administration is starting off the same way.

But with Democrats in control of the White House, House and the Senate poised at 50-50, the struggle to get bipartisan agreement may no longer prove to be an obstacle. NBC News reports:

White House economic adviser Brian Deese and Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zientz held a call Thursday with Senate Democrats as they grapple with whether to cut a slimmed-down deal or use a process known as reconciliation to bypass the Senate’s 60-vote rule to avoid a filibuster.

“The sentiment is this: We would like Republicans to work with us to be part of the solution to deliver emergency help, but we can’t wait, it’s urgent, and we need to double-track this process,” Democrat Sen. Chris Van Hollen from Maryland, who was on the call, told reporters. “So we will continue to reach out to Republicans, but I’m a big supporter of having an insurance policy in place through reconciliation.”

10.33am GMT

Welcome to live coverage of US politics for Friday. Here’s a catch-up on where we are, and what we can expect today…

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