A bipartisan group of senators rolled out its stimulus compromise proposal on Tuesday in hopes of breaking the months-long stalemate over coronavirus relief, The Washington Post reports.
Democrats Joe Manchin, Jeanne Shaheen, Maggie Hassan, Mark Warner, and Angus King and Republicans Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Bill Cassidy have crafted a $908 billion offer after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s $2.2 trillion deal and Mitch McConnell’s $300 to $500 billion offer went nowhere.
The effort still poses a lot of questions and congressional aides have been skeptical about the odds of it passing.
But the effort shows the growing desire to get a deal passed in the Senate. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are expected to discuss a potential deal for the first time since October on Tuesday.
McConnell accused Democrats on Monday of “all or nothing obstruction” while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed McConnell for offering a GOP wish-list in his proposal and said “both sides must give.”
Though the deal tops $900 billion, Romney told reporters that it repurposes over $500 billion from March’s Cares Act and only includes over $300 billion in new spending.
The deal includes four months of federal unemployment benefits at $300 per week, nearly $300 billion for small business aid, $250 billion for state and local aid, a temporary liability shield for businesses, and $50 billion for health care providers and vaccine distribution.
The bill notably does not include a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks despite bipartisan support.
Situation growing desperate:
Economists warn of devastating consequences if Congress does not act.
Many of the Cares Act programs are set to expire at the end of the year.
About 12 million Americans would lose their federal unemployment benefits and moratoriums on evictions and student debt will expire.
As many as 30 million people will be at risk of eviction by January.
Millions of families are also set to lose their paid family leave benefits provided in the Cares Act.
Inaction would also be a big blow to restaurants and small businesses who desperately need assistance amid a growing number of shutdowns and restrictions due to a massive nationwide spike in infections.