As the stalemate drags on, Senators from both parties have proposed a$908 billion stimulus package to combat the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is an “interim package” to provide support until President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January.
The reduced stimulus plan aims to address the expiration of key economic aid programs, including an unemployment insurance extension, for in 25 days unemployment insurance payments end for more than 13 million people.
The bipartisan plan does not include, however, a new round of stimulus checks.
The price tag for this aid package is less than what Democrats want and more than what Republican leaders were willing to approve. The agreement seeks compromise from both parties, to bring positions closer together, although there is still no official response on the future of the proposal.
What relief measures are included?
According to CNBC, the roughly $ 908 billion proposal includes $ 288 billion in small business aid such as Paycheck Protection Program loans, $ 160 billion in state and local government relief, and $ 180 billion to fund a $ 300 per week supplemental unemployment benefit through March.
It would put $ 16 billion into vaccine distribution, testing, and contact tracing, funnel $ 82 billion into education, put $ 45 billion into transportation, and allocate funds for rental assistance, child care, and broadband.
Democrat Senator Joe Manchin gave details of the plan on his Twitter account:
Just as economic aid to states and cities has been included, which was a measure supported by the blue party, the plan also includes liability protection for companies against workers' demands due to COVID-19, which was something that was important for GOP members.
Most of the money for this new relief package comes from the CARES Act of March, which makes the path to approval easier.
The request for financial assistance from economists specialized in the field is also a pressure factor that could help the plan being approved.