The new coronavirus funding battle over the November election

Democrats are making a push to expand funding for vote-by-mail efforts in a fourth emergency rescue package, citing the need to help states prepare to hold elections during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a public health issue, Democrats argue: That elections carried out as usual could spread the virus this fall.

But new vote-by-mail funding is facing stern resistance from Senate Republicans and the Trump administration, who argue against imposing federal guidelines on states. The issue may be a sticking point to any relief package as the U.S. faces mass unemployment and a plummeting economy.

“We are getting more and more bipartisan support from secretaries of states across the country,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in an interview, who is leading a bill with Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) to expand early voting as well as vote-by-mail.