Stimulus update: Bipartisan group offers compromise to include unemployment payment, stimulus check

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House proposed a bill Tuesday to move ahead of the stalled talks over another COVID-19 stimulus plan.

The bill, proposed by the House Problem Solvers Caucus, would include money for unemployment benefit relief, a revival of the Paycheck Protection Program and a $1,200 stimulus check that would be distributed to millions of Americans.

The legislation, if passed, would dole out nearly $2 trillion on programs designed to last through next spring according to a story from Politico. The caucus, which is made up of nearly 50 House members – half of whom are Democrats and the other half Republicans – voted earlier this week to approve the plan.

The plan would include:

  • $450 a week of federal unemployment insurance that would eventually be increased to $600 per week; it could not exceed the person’s previous wage
  • $500 billion for state and local governments
  • $400 billion for election assistance
  • $15 billion for the United States Postal Service
  • $25 billion for a mortgage and rental assistance,
  • $130 billion for schools

The plan would likely have a difficult time passing either house of Congress. Republicans voted down a $650 billion package last week, and Democrats have sworn they would not entertain a bill that does not include favorite programs that would cost upwards of $2 trillion.

The House Problem Solvers Caucus is led by U.S. Reps. Josh Gottheimer, D-New Jersey, and Tom Reed, R-New York.

On a call to her caucus on Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said she wants to keep the House in session until another stimulus package is passed.

The Problem Solvers Caucus chairman welcomed the idea.

“We heard some good news this morning that we’re going to stay here until we get something done,” Gottheimer said. “None of us want to go anywhere until we can help the American people.”

Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin said Monday, “The president and I want to have more support to help those American businesses impacted by this.”

“I think there’s many areas of this where there is an agreement between Democrats and Republicans. There are some areas where we have differences on the amounts. But I will continue to work on this. I told (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) I’m available anytime to negotiate.”

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