President-elect Joe Biden stood behind bipartisan COVID-19 relief effort in the United States’ Congress, and his key allies in Congress cut their calls for more than $ 2 trillion in action by more than half in hopes of negotiating with Republicans of the Senate about the delivery of a lot to trigger – sought help before the end of the year.
Biden said the development aid package was “not the answer, but it would provide immediate help for many things”. He wants an aid bill to be passed to Congress now, and more aid will come next year.
Biden’s remarks followed an announcement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat Chairman Chuck Schumer in support of a nearly $ 908 billion plan as a “foundation” for bipartisan discussion.
The announcement appeared to be aimed at ousting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican, who was unwilling to abandon a $ 550 billion plan that so far has not received widespread support in Congress.
The Democrats endorsed a $ 908 billion approach from moderate Senators Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and Susan Collins, a Republican, among others. It would create $ 300 weekly unemployment benefit, $ 160 billion to aid state and local governments, promote schools and universities, and revitalize paycheck protection subsidies for businesses with additional bailouts for transit systems and airlines.
“In the spirit of compromise, we believe that the bipartisan framework introduced by the senators yesterday should serve as the basis for immediate bipartisan, bicameral negotiations,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.
The statement was a concession by Pelosi and Schumer, who were playing hardball over a costly bill during failed primary calls with the administration. They had wanted more generous unemployment benefits and much more from state and local government.
Their approval of the $ 908 billion move was a withdrawal from a secret offer the two Democrats made to McConnell on Dec. 1, the Associated Press reported.
The newly proposed bipartisan plan provides liability protection for companies and other organizations that reopened their doors during the pandemic. It is the first time that Pelosi and Schumer have shown a willingness to think about the idea.
Americans are currently living in the worst of the pandemic. Many family budgets and small businesses are on the verge of collapse. It is time for Leader McConnell to sit down with the Democrats and finally begin a real, bipartisan effort to meet the needs of the country.
– Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 2, 2020
Republican leader McConnell had turned down the bipartisan offer on Tuesday instead of winning Republicans to his proposal, which focused on facilitating small businesses and helping schools.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday that the outgoing President Donald Trump supported McConnell’s proposal.
But Senator John Thune, a key McConnell MP, said Republicans could agree to merge the bipartisan proposal with McConnell’s bill.
“I think there is still time, although it will be short, to put an invoice together,” Thune told reporters on Capitol Hill.
“Hopefully it will help if we make a deal,” said Thune.
Each bailout package would likely come with a $ 1.4 trillion year-end spending bill required to keep the government from closing this weekend, Thune also said.
Talks about this measure continue, but should lawmakers stumble, a temporary spending account would be needed to bridge the gap to the next year.
Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Committee on Funds, spoke to reporters about the possibility that such a temporary extension of state funds may be required if an agreement is not reached by December 11th.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has so far refused to negotiate directly with Democratic counterparts over an aid package for COVID-19 [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]McConnell employees did not immediately comment on Pelosi and Schumer’s move in support of the bipartisan law, Reuters reported.
McConnell had approved a trillion dollar plan this summer, only to encounter resistance from Conservatives that led him to withdraw. He has recognized that another infusion of aid to states and local governments, a major request from Pelosi, is likely to pass at some point.
Manchin-Collins bipartisan group proposed a solution to the protracted impasse in COVID-19 relief in hopes of expediting overdue aid to injuring Americans before Congress adjourn the holidays.
It was a sign that some lawmakers are unwilling to adjourn the year without approving pandemic relief.
Your suggestion includes:
- $ 228 billion to expand and upgrade corporate paycheck protection subsidies for a second round of relief for hard-hit businesses like restaurants.
- A revived special unemployment benefit, but it is reduced to $ 300 per week from $ 600 per week.
- $ 160 billion for state and local governments.
- $ 45 billion in transportation, including aid to transportation systems and Amtrak, the national rail service.
- $ 82 billion to reopen schools and universities.
- Money for vaccines and health care providers, as well as grocery stamps, rental support, and the postal service.