Pelosi, Schumer back $908B pandemic relief bill

04 Décembre, 2020, 11:08 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Pelosi And Schumer Back Bipartisan Coronavirus Bill, giving Boost To Compromise

"We had a good conversation", McConnell said after the meeting, according to pool reports.

"We simply can not afford to wait", said Gottheimer, D-5th Dist. Senate Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, now have to weigh in on the package. He added that the White House was reviewing the new bipartisan plan.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said even President Trump's likely on board. "Why should these impactful and noncontroversial life-preservers be delayed one second longer?" "Let's make law on all the subjects where we agree, on all the areas where President Trump is ready to sign bipartisan relief into law".

Later, McConnell met with Republicans who helped introduce the scaled-back measure, including Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah).

Capito noted a relief plan could be paired with a spending bill for keeping the federal government open. "I think we're both interested in getting an outcome".

In the long run, Democrats are banking on Biden, who's expected to push for major coronavirus relief once he takes office on January 20, regardless of what Congress does in 2020. Businesses, especially airlines, restaurants and health providers, are desperate for help as caseloads spiral and deaths spike. But the plan does not include the $300 in supplemental unemployment benefits that were in an earlier GOP proposal and does not provide the additional aid to state and local governments that Democrats have demanded.

Biden is supporting an additional aid package that's as large as possible now.

Democrats aren't ecstatic about the $908 billion measure, but say that providing some aid before the year is over is better than none, especially since the last cash from the first stimulus bill passed in March is set to dry up within weeks.

Despite the strong bipartisan support for a new stimulus package, the GOP leaders have yet to act on the Democrats' renewed negotiations. Right now, the $908 billion framework is little more than a one-pager.

The proposed federal payouts to state and local governments have been a chief sticking point. They said they would try to build upon the approach, which has support in the House from the bipartisan "problem solvers" coalition.

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In their statement, Pelosi and Schumer cited surging coronavirus cases and hospitalizations as they called for urgency in passing the bill.

Without quick action by Congress, more than 13 million people are due to lose their government-funded unemployment benefits on December 26.

Democrats wanted as much as $500 billion to shore up state and city budgets hard hit by lost tax revenue due to coronavirus shutdowns.

"While we made a new offer to [Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell] and [House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy] on Monday, in the spirit of compromise we believe the bipartisan framework introduced by senators yesterday should be used as the basis for immediate partisan, bicameral negotiations", they wrote.

"Of course, we and others will offer improvements, but the need to act is immediate and we believe that with good-faith negotiations we could come to an agreement", the statement added. Democrats don't want to protect businesses that are shrugging responsibilities to provide safe working conditions for employees or customers amid the pandemic.

Funding for coronavirus vaccines: With the promise of the first COVID-19 vaccines to be released this month, a new stimulus package could include a bipartisan Senate proposal that would allocate $50 billion for vaccine distribution, said cnet.

But many of McConnell's fellow conservative Republicans say his skinny bill isn't sufficient at this stage, as the pandemic continues to rage out of control, with the death toll topping 275,000 and infection rates exploding in almost all states.

Mr. McConnell did not immediately respond to Mrs. Pelosi's request for new talks. His top deputy, Sen.

"I think there's still time, although it's short, to put a bill together", Thune said Wednesday. Talks on that measure are proceeding, but if lawmakers should stumble, a temporary spending bill would be needed as a bridge into next year.

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