Yet, new actions and statements on Tuesday reflect the movement toward some level of epidemic relief for millions of Americans. Negotiations between the White House and House Democrats, first after the summer and then again in the fall before the Nov. 3 election, have faced increasing pressure on Congress to approve additional financial aid.
When negotiations between the leadership and the administration stalled, senators from both parties worked together for weeks on a proposal that could break the deadlock. Some of the centrist legislators in the Senate – including Manchin III (DW.Va.), Mark R. Werner (D-Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Susan Collins (R). -Mane) – Congress held a news conference on Tuesday morning to push forward his proposal as a model of legislation that could be passed, as the winter surge in the case of the coronavirus faces growing strain on the economy.
“Our action to provide emergency relief is now more urgent than ever. People need to know that we are not going to leave until we achieve something, ”said Manchin, surrounded by about half a dozen legislators at the Capitol. “I’m committed to seeing this.”
McConnell announced Tuesday that senior Republicans will meet Monday night with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DNY) offers new coronavirus relief. Democratic supporters declined to disclose details of their offer, and Schumer called it a “private proposal to help move the ball forward.”
Senate Republican leaders, however, unveiled a slim-down plan Tuesday that will be fiercely opposed by Democrats. The move includes a shield of responsibility for businesses and more small business assistance. It will provide short-term, limited unemployment assistance but will not help transportation agencies transitioned with any extra money or cash for state and local governments.
“We don’t have time to waste. We have a few weeks left here, ”McConnell said. “Obviously, it doesn’t need bipartisan support to get out of Congress, but it needs the president’s signature.”
The plan, spread by a bipartisan group of senators, is light on details but seeks to reach the middle ground on a number of controversial economic issues.
It will provide 300 a week Federal unemployment benefits For about four months – Democrats demanded less than $ 600 a week, while millions of employed Americans are still receiving significant relief. The deal includes 160 160 billion in funding for state and local governments, a key Democratic priority opposed by most Republicans, as well as a temporary deadline on some coronavirus-related lawsuits against companies and other companies – a Republican priority that most Days oppose. . The move also includes funding for small businesses, schools, healthcare, transportation officials and student loans.
The close aides of the effort described the details as fluid and subject to change. Some outside the group of Senate negotiators backed his proposal Tuesday, with some Republican senators complaining of a ing 908 billion price tag.
But the reported efforts at reconciliation in the Senate reflect a growing movement by influential senators against the tough stance of their respective leaders, who have struggled to reach the second phase of coronavirus relief aid, as the economy suffers under the weight of the epidemic. .
McConnell and Schumer traded Barbs on Monday, accusing Democrats of being “all or nothing obstructive.” “Both sides must give,” Schumer said in a floor speech, but also slammed McConnell for pushing the GOP’s wish list into provocative negotiations.
Some lawmakers have expressed hope that elements of bilateral stimulus deals could be added to the spending bill to avoid a December 11 government shutdown, although this could complicate legislation to be passed. Still, McConnell suggested Tuesday that the spending bill could be a way to pass targeted coronavirus relief.
Pelsoi and Treasury Secretary Steven Munuchin spoke Tuesday afternoon about the government’s funding bill. Speaking of the bipartisan Senate structure, Munuchin said he would review it, although the plan has received a very good response from the White House.
“The Trump administration is in constant discussions with Leader McConnell and Leader McCarthy about the targeted COVID relief plan,” said Kyle McKinney, White House press secretary. The 90 8,908 billion proposal has not been the subject of debate. ”
As for Pelosi, he insisted: “The extra cavid relief is long overdue and this lame duck must go through the session.”
President-elect Joe Biden, who introduced his economic team on Tuesday, has now expressed support for some sort of covid relief and signaled to Republicans that more aid would be needed the year after its inauguration in January.
“Right now, the entire Congress should pass a strong package of relief together,” Biden said in a remark prepared at Dell in Wilmington, but any package passed in a lame-duck session is probably the best, just a start. ”
Asked if he supported the 8 8,908 billion stimulus proposal, Biden told reporters, “I just heard about it. I’ll take a look at it when I get back. Asked if he had spoken to McConnell, he said “not yet.”
San Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), The second-highest-ranking Senate Democrat, joined the debate but did not finally appear with lawmakers at Tuesday’s news conference. In the floor speech, Derby argued that he disagreed with the group’s decisions, arguing that it should exclude responsibility, but said: “I am still willing to work on it. … Let us not become the best enemy of good. ”
Durbin vowed to come to the Senate floor despite his reservations.
“I’m not happy with many of these figures,” he said. “But that’s it, in this world of the United States Congress: you come together, sit down and be ready to listen to the other side, and if necessary, compromise.”
Economists have warned that if no stimulus deal is passed there are disastrous consequences for the economy and millions of Americans. A number of relief programs are due to be completed by the end of the year. Twelve million Americans Losing their unemployment benefits is on the rise, And protection for tenants and student borrowers is also set to end with the Federal Paid Family Holiday Program.
The White House has largely let go of its aggressive pressure for stimulus since Trump lost the November 3 presidential election. It is also unclear whether or not Biden Will force Democrats to accept a smaller package, although some of their economic advisers have been adamant that the stimulus deal should pass quickly, even if it is smaller than what Democrats choose.
Republicans continued to make that case on Tuesday.
“I think 900 900 billion will work better than 2 2 trillion in March,” said Sen. GOP leadership member. “This is an important time to take action if we can,” said Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
The bilateral agreement includes approximately 288 billion in funding for small businesses, including the Paycheck Protection Program and other assistance. It also includes 45 45 billion for transportation agencies; 82 billion for education; Nutrition 26 billion nutrition assistance; And 16 16 billion in health care, including coronavirus testing and tracing and vaccine delivery.
Despite support from Trump and Pelosi, an attempt to skip the second round of stimulus payments of round 1,200 was expected as a way to reduce its overall costs.
The move was met with initial opposition from both sides, with opponents of the obligation of accountability and money changers opposing spending more money to help the economy. Member of the Progressive Caucus of Congress, Rep. Rashida Talaib (D-Mitch.) Criticized the proposal to drop the second round of the 200 1,200 other stimulus check. Jason Pay, vice president of legal affairs at the conservative group Freedom Works, said the protectionist G.O.P. Senators may reject the move because of its high cost. Sense. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Key.) Are among those who have resisted the other spending package.
“Anything that increases the deficit is non-starter,” Paye said.
In a news conference, Romney stressed that it is a deficit and that the cost of the proposal is much lower than the 1. 1.8 trillion previously proposed by White House officials. He also said the law would be partially funded by more than 500 500 billion from the CARS Act, which would reduce the amount of new spending.
Sarah Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Flight Attendants, spoke positively about the bilateral effort and urged lawmakers to allow emergency financial assistance quickly.
“More will be needed later, but immediate relief is needed now,” he said. “Senators say the same thing. We can’t wait. “
Rachel Siegel, Felicia Sonmez and John Wagner contributed to this report.
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