With negotiations stalled between congressional leaders, senators of both parties worked together for weeks on a proposal that could break the deadlock. Several middle lawmakers in the Senate – including Senator Joe Mansion III (DW.Va), Mark R. Warner (Democrat, Virginia), Bill Cassidy (R from Los Angeles), Mitt Romney (Republic of Utah) and Susan Collins (Republic of Maine) – held a press conference Tuesday morning to advance their proposal as a model for legislation that could pass Congress as the economy faces mounting pressure from an increase. Winter is in Corona Virus cases.
“Our work to provide emergency relief is needed now more than ever.” Manshin, who was flanked by about six lawmakers on the Capitol, said, “People should know we’re not leaving until we achieve something.” “I’m committed to seeing that through.” “
The plan distributed by the bipartisan group is light on detail but seeks to compromise on several contentious economic issues.
It will save $ 300 a week in Federal unemployment benefits For four months – less than $ 600 a week the Democrats sought, while still providing significant benefits to the tens of millions of unemployed Americans. The agreement includes $ 160 billion in funding for state and local governments, a key Democratic priority that most Republicans oppose, as well as a temporary halt of some coronavirus-related lawsuits against companies and other entities – a major Republican priority that most Democrats oppose. The measure also includes financing for small businesses, schools, healthcare, transit authorities, and student loans, among other measures.
Helpers near effort described the details as fluid and subject to change.
The effort still faces formidable hurdles, and most Congressional aides question the campaign’s success. President Trump’s negotiators have been at odds for months with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat of California) over the multiple critical aspects of the stimulus legislation, while Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), have been largely uncomfortable with how much to pay. Spending in the White House sometimes.
But the substantive efforts to reach a compromise in the Senate reflect the growing agitation from influential senators against the hard-line positions of their leaders, who have struggled to reach another round of coronavirus relief aid even as the economy continues to struggle under the weight of a pandemic.
McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DNY) traded barbs, with McConnell accusing Democrats on Monday of “blocking everything or nothing”. In a speech in the auditorium, Schumer said that “both sides should give,” but that he also decimated McConnell for being on the Republican wishlist in stimulus talks.
Some lawmakers had hoped that elements of a bipartisan stimulus deal could be added to the required spending bill to avoid a government shutdown on December 11th, although that could complicate the legislation that needs to be passed.
Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said he was scheduled to speak to Pelosi on Tuesday afternoon. They are expected to discuss both the government spending bill that should be passed and the stimulus effort.
“I had a conversation yesterday afternoon and also this morning with Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, me, and Mark Meadows. I spoke to the President this morning and kept him up-to-date. … I will talk to Speaker Pelosi this afternoon about government funding.” Said Mnuchin, who was giving Testifying on Capitol Hill with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell … “We all believe there must be a targeted fiscal response.”
After squeezing the coronavirus relief package, Mnuchin said he would review it. I think there is a need for more financial response. I think the most important is what we can quickly pass on a bipartisan basis to target the toughest parts of the economy.
Senator Richard J. Durbin (Illinois), the second-highest-ranking Democratic member of the Senate, participated in the discussions but did not ultimately appear with lawmakers at Tuesday’s press conference. In a speech in the auditorium, Durbin indicated that there were disagreements with the group’s decisions, arguing that the liability shield should have been excluded, but said: “I’m still willing to work on it … let’s not make the best the enemy of good.”
Durbin called for the legislation to be brought before the Senate, despite his reservations.
“I am not happy with many of these numbers,” he said. “But that’s it, in this world of the United States Congress: you come together, ready to sit down and listen to the other side and, if necessary, compromise.”
Economists have warned of dire consequences for the economy and millions of Americans if a stimulus package is not passed. A number of relief programs are due to expire at the end of the year. Twelve million Americans On their way to losing unemployment benefitsAnd protection for renters and student borrowers also ends with a federal Paid Family Leave program.
The White House has largely abandoned its push for stimulus since Trump lost the presidential election on November 3. It is also unclear whether President-elect Joe Biden will push Democrats to accept a smaller package, although some of his economic advisers have been adamant that the stimulus package should pass quickly even if it is smaller than the Democrats prefer.
The bipartisan deal includes about $ 288 billion in small business financing, including through a payroll check protection program and other aid. It also includes $ 45 billion for transportation agencies. $ 82 billion for education; $ 26 billion in food aid; And $ 16 billion in healthcare, including help with testing, tracing and distributing the vaccine.
These efforts were expected to rule out a second round of $ 1,200 stimulus payments as a way to reduce their overall cost, despite support from Trump and Pelosi.
The measure encountered early opposition on both sides, with liberals opposed to the liability shield and conservatives opposing spending more money to help the economy. Representative Rashida Tlaib (Democrat from Michigan state), a member of the Progressive Caucus in Congress, criticized the proposal to leave another round of stimulus checks of $ 1,200. Jason Bay, vice president of legislative affairs for conservative FreedomWorks group, said conservative Republican senators might reject the measure because of its cost. Senators Mike Lee (R from Utah) and Rand Paul (R from Kentucky) are among those who have resisted another spending deal.
“Anything that increases deficits is not a start,” Bay said.
At the press conference, Romney stressed that he was a hawk on the deficit and that the cost of the proposal was far less than the $ 1.8 trillion White House officials had paid earlier. He also said the legislation would be partially funded by more than $ 500 billion in unspent money from the Welfare Act, reducing the amount of new spending.
Sarah Nelson, president of the Flight Attendant Association, spoke positively of the bipartisan effort and urged lawmakers to quickly approve the emergency financial aid.
“More will be needed at a later time,” she said, “but immediate relief is needed now.” This is what the senators are talking about. We can’t wait. “
Rachel Siegel contributed to this report.