December 2, 2020
A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a broad coronavirus aid framework—a significant breakthrough after months of failed negotiations, Politico reports, noting that it’s just the first step toward Congress finally approving a new round of aid.
Among those who are advancing the bill are three four Democrats, one Independent, and four Republicans: Sens. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Angus King (I-Maine), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire); as well as House members. Separately, some other senators have held bipartisan discussions about a solution
According to Politico, the proposal includes $160 billion in state and local aid, $180 billion in additional unemployment insurance, and $288 billion for small businesses. It also comprises $82 billion for schools, as well as $45 billion for transportation, according to a draft reviewed by Politico. And it builds in an unspecified amount for healthcare.
Still, Politico notes, “the newest measure is no lay-up, and several congressional aides said the likeliest route to a new round of aid is through Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.” Congress has not enacted a new significant round of aid since April.
McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have both called for more coronavirus relief, but GOP senators said, if there is an aid package, it’s unlikely to be attached to the spending bill due by December 11. That means it’s still uncertain whether Congress can actually clinch a new law before the end of the lame duck period before Inauguration Day.
Research contact: @politico