On Tuesday, a bipartisan group consisting of 50 House lawmakers proposed a new stimulus package designed to “bring together Washington’s bitterly divided factions and restart negotiations ahead of the November election,” according to Forbes.
The $1.5 trillion coronavirus relief plan includes another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, along with a plan to re-up the Paycheck Protection Program and offer federal supplemental unemployment benefits at $450 per week for eight weeks. But will the plan garner enough support to pass, and eventually become law?
Here’s what you need to know:
Top Democrats Have Already Dismissed the Bill
In the words of the New York Times, the bipartisan proposal “faces long odds.”
Bloomberg has echoed those sentiments, stating that “the track record of bipartisan groupings of moderates in either the House or Senate to broker major deals has been poor in recent years.”
On Tuesday, according to Roll Call, a number of House Democratic committee leaders released a joint statement that said the bipartisan plan “falls short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy.”
Speaking to CNBC on Tuesday morning, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “didn’t embrace the compromise plan but didn’t shoot it down, either.” He highlighted Pelosi as the “obstacle to a deal.” McCarthy further suggested that Pelosi didn’t support the bill because it would “hurt President Donald Trump’s reelection prospects.”
Pelosi swiftly responded by saying, “You know, I wouldn’t stoop to the level of responding to silliness that has no idea. We are committed to staying here until we have an agreement, an agreement that meets the needs of the American people.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also denounced the plan early Tuesday, stating, “I think the Problem Solvers would be lower than a responsible deal,” according to Blomberg.
What Does the Package Include?
As it stands, the bill includes, “money for state and local governments and for schools… $100 billion for testing, contact tracing and other health initiatives to try to increase the nation’s testing capacity to three million tests a day,” reported the New York Times.
It would also allot a portion of its budget to expanding rural and urban broadband, supporting agricultural workers, and extending the 2020 census. The New York Times continued, “The bill would allocate $25 billion for mortgage and rental assistance, $130 billion for schools and $15 billion for the beleaguered Postal Service, as well as separate funds to administer the 2020 elections during a health crisis and for food assistance programs.”
The relief package, which is being referred to as the Problem Solvers Caucus plan, was proposed by a group of lawmakers consisting of Representatives Josh Gottheimer, Democrat of New Jersey, Tom Reed, Republican of New York, Representative Dean Phillips, Democrat of Minnesota, and Dusty Johnson, Republican of South Dakota, among others. It took a total of six weeks to draft.
While the hopes of the package are to break the stalemate between Democrats and Republicans on the terms of the next economic relief package, it’s unclear if the Problem Solvers Caucus plan will succeed in doing that.
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