As negotiations for another round of coronavirus relief have come yet again to a stall, several Democratic Congressional leaders are denouncing a bipartisan group’s proposal for a roughly $1.5 trillion package.
The Problem Solvers Caucus, comprised of 25 House Democrats and 25 House Republicans, unveiled its “March to Common Ground” bill on Tuesday, September 15. Serving as a last-ditch effort to push lawmakers into reaching a decision before the November election, the proposal aims to inject up to $2 trillion in additional aid into the economy.
Congress grapples with new bipartisan stimulus that includes $1,200 checks and jobless benefits https://t.co/oIivmdzrpC
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) September 15, 2020
PSC is aspiring to provide a short-term solution to “shore up programs and provide new funding through the January presidential inauguration,” CNN reported.
But a group of Democratic committee chairs thinks otherwise.
Here’s what you need to know:
‘March to Common Ground’ Includes Stimulus Checks of up to $1,200 for Individuals
The bipartisan bill, which would repurpose $130 billion from previous legislation, covers another round of stimulus checks ranging up to $1,200 for individuals and an additional $500 per child and dependent adult, according to an online version of the proposal.
The Paycheck Protection Program, under the proposed bill, would benefit from an additional $95 billion, while the remaining $145 billion from the first round would be reappropriated.
Federal unemployment benefits would also be extended and expanded to an additional $450 per week for eight weeks.
Eight House Democratic Committee Chairs Have Publicly Denounced the Bill
Although PSC intended to reignite negotiations on both sides, a group of Congressional Democratic leaders denounced the proposal just hours after its debut, according to The New York Times.
Eight House Democratic committee chairs released an online statement on September 15, claiming that the plan falls “short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy.”
“When it comes to bolstering the public health system, supporting state and local governments and assisting struggling families, the Problem Solvers’ proposal leaves too many needs unmet,” the legislators wrote in the statement.
“With the general election just 49 days away and the Postal Service sabotaged by the Trump administration, their proposal also abandons our responsibility to protect the life of our democracy.”
Trump Agrees on Parts of the Bipartisan Bill — but Still Won’t Endorse It
President Donald Trump expressed September 16 during a White House press briefing that he was eager to administer coronavirus relief to the millions of struggling Americans.
“I want to see people get money,” the president said. “I want to see — it wasn’t their fault that this happened. It was China’s fault, you know? … So I’d like to see the larger number. Yeah, I would like to see it. There are some things I disagree with, but I’m sure they can be negotiated.
“It would be a very appropriate thing to release that to the American people and all we need is the sign-off,” he added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi assured on Tuesday that her chamber would not leave for the November elections before agreeing upon another round of coronavirus relief, according to CNBC.
Bipartisan Bill ‘Not Likely’ to Pass Republican-Led Senate, Forbes Says
“March to Common Ground” would likely run into problems if it were to move on to the Republican-led Senate, Forbes noted, citing the overall price of the package.
“The main sticking point would be the $1.5 trillion price tag,” the outlet said. “Which could balloon to around $2 trillion in the new year if the crisis hasn’t improved by then because of the way some of the plan’s provisions would be tied to the economy’s performance.”