Bipartisan group of lawmakers unveil stimulus package proposal in attempt to break stalemate
A bipartisan group of senators plan to unveil a $908 billion stimulus proposal today, following a monthslong stalemate that has prevented additional economic aid to people, businesses, and a country desperately in need of it.
The group includes senators Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Angus King (I-Maine), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), according to the Washington Post, which first reported the news.
The proposed plan is a compromise between Democrats’ desired $2.2 trillion package and Republicans’ $500 billion, Warner told CNBC, calling it an “interim package” until President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January.
Although the details of the package are still subject to change, the Post reports that so far, the plan would provide:
- $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits, rather than Democrats’ desired $600 per week
- $240 billion in funding for state and local governments, a Democratic priority opposed by most Republicans
- a six-month freeze on coronavirus-related lawsuits against companies, a Republican priority opposed by most Democrats
- an additional $300 billion for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program
- $40 billion for transit agencies
- rental assistance for people facing eviction
- $50 billion in health care funding, including to help with COVID-19 testing, tracing, and vaccine distribution
- no second round of stimulus checks
It’s not yet clear whether this proposal will move forward or help stimulus talks resume between the two parties. Federal aid is critical as we move into the holidays, as several emergency relief programs — including an extension on unemployment insurance, a moratorium on federal student loan repayment, and some eviction protections — expire at the end of December.
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