A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate unveiled a $908 billion stimulus proposal Tuesday in an effort to break a months-long impasse that’s now threatening to tip the economy back into contraction.
Neither Republican nor Democratic leaders have signed on to the plan so far, however, leaving it facing the same long odds as a bipartisan House proposal that failed before Election Day. President-elect
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary
Mnuchin said he and Pelosi will mainly discuss work on the spending bill needed to keep the government running after Dec. 11, and they may talk “a little bit” about a new stimulus. He said he hasn’t had a chance to review the proposal from the lawmakers but that he appreciates “that there is some bipartisan support” for a plan.
“I don’t like borrowing money or spending money we don’t have,” Romney said at a news conference. “The time to borrow money, maybe the only time to borrow money, is when there’s a crisis, and this is a crisis.”
Under the proposed compromise, small businesses would get a roughly $300 billion infusion for a version of the Paycheck Protection Program of forgivable loans and other aid, and state and local governments would get about $240 billion, including money for schools, according to three people familiar with the proposal.
An additional $180 billion would go to an extension of pandemic unemployment benefits, providing an added $300-a-week for four months.
The proposal doesn’t include direct payments to individuals.
Transportation, including airlines, airports, transit and Amtrak, would get $45 billion in funding. Vaccines, testing and tracing would get $16 billion and health-care providers $35 billion.
Some $25 billion would go to rental assistance, $26 billion for nutrition and agriculture, $10 billion for the U.S. Postal Service, $10 billion for child care, $10 billion for broadband and $5 billion for opioid treatment.
The package would include a short-term moratorium on liability lawsuits related to Covid-19 -- a more sweeping version of which has been pressed by Senate Majority Leader
The bipartisan proposal was reported earlier by the Washington Post.
Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday morning, McConnell made no mention of the new bipartisan push for relief, continuing to blame Democrats for seeking a package that is unrealistic and too costly.
South Dakota Senator
He suggested some pandemic relief could be included in a bill to keep the government funded that needs to be passed by Dec. 11.
While U.S. stocks have shrugged off risks of a year-end fiscal cliff, with investors encouraged by progress on coronavirus vaccines, economists have increasingly warned that the economy is in danger of a renewed contraction in the first quarter of 2021.
Pandemic-related unemployment benefits are set to expire at year-end, while many businesses are getting squeezed by lockdowns as Covid-19 cases surge. Retail sales gains have weakened, and jobless claims remain stubbornly higher than the peak hit during the 2007-09 recession.
Federal Reserve Chairman
At the same hearing, Mnuchin said that an additional fiscal response was needed. “I think what’s more important is what we can pass on a bipartisan basis,” he said.
In addition to Romney and Manchin, backers of the new plan include Republican Senators
(Updates with Mnuchin remarks in fourth paragraph)
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