Bipartisan effort to roll out pandemic relief bill could help millions of struggling Americans but has opposition
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Congress is hammering out another COVID-19 relief bill. It has bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, but it's hit a couple of snags.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell opposes the bill and appears to be leaning toward a more targeted relief package. He supports around $5 billion in aid after discussions with the white house.
After weeks of stalled negotiations, Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy believes the bipartisan bill he supports now could pass in both the house and senate and bring relief to millions of struggling Americans.
"Neither Republicans nor Democrats get everything they want, but both republicans and democrats get much of what we want. The common ground that we've come to meets the needs of those most affected by the Pandemic getting us through this last segment until there's widespread use of a vaccine," Senator Cassidy said.
The $908 billion coronavirus relief package will provide aid to many programs.
This includes relief to state and local governments and an additional $300 per week for those collecting unemployment. That's half of the enhanced unemployment funds received when the benefit first rolled out in March.
"There's 160 billion dollars for aid to state and local government. There's 180 billion for unemployment relief. That's 300 dollars a week for ten weeks to the unemployed, including gig workers, and the self-employed."
The proposal is also set to bring additional funds for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, rental assistance for landlords, aid for vaccine development, distribution, and contact tracing.
However, the proposal does not include another round of stimulus checks, like the one seen in the first relief bill.
"This is not a stimulus bill. It's what can we do to meet the needs of the American people. We sidestepped that point of disagreement in order to get something forward, "Senator Cassidy said.
If passed, the proposal will fund emergency relief efforts from December until March 2021.