Bipartisan lawmakers offer coronavirus relief solution in effort to break logjam

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers Tuesday unveiled a compromise coronavirus package that worked out some of the thorniest divisions between Democrats and Republicans in an effort to jumpstart relief to Americans still reeling from the health and economic crisis.

The Problem Solvers Caucus released its $1.5 trillion coronavirus plan as proof bipartisanship is still afoot and to deliver a pre-packaged solution to Republican and Democratic leadership that would meet the nation's most pressing needs for the next 6 to 12 months.

There's been no progress on a new coronavirus package in the last four months although schools, families, and businesses continue to suffer and the coronavirus continues its deadly spread, now killing more than 193,000 Americans.


So the 50-member caucus -- equally divided between Democrats and Republicans -- spent six weeks trying to find a solution they believe can pass the House, Senate and be signed into law by President Trump.

Four of the caucus lawmakers spoke to to preview the plan before its public release and they lamented that talks between the White House and Democrats are "stuck." They viewed their newly minted proposal as a "framework" to break the logjam.

"Our goal is to get people back to the table," one lawmaker told

Among the highlights of the $1.5 billion plan:

Unlike the recent partisan efforts, the Problems Solvers' caucus worked together in a bipartisan way to find common ground. The $3 trillion HEROES Act that passed the House in May was authored by Democrats. And both the $1 trillion July plan and the $300 billion September plan put forth in the Senate were devised just with GOP input.


"We wanted to demonstrate that there is common ground here," another lawmaker told "And when you put the people's needs first, and you take politics and you set it aside you can actually have a good conversation."

One way they were able to address GOP concerns about unfettered funding for state and local governments was to fashion the relief for coronavirus expenses and provable lost revenue due to the economic fallout, rather than just providing the nearly $1 trillion Democrats wanted.

And they took both GOP and Democratic plans into account on the federal unemployment boost. It's the $600 weekly Democrats wanted but with the caveat that the benefits can't exceed current wages, a nod to Republicans' concerns that people wouldn't go back to work if they were making more money to stay home.

Other provisions in the proposal include $100 billion for coronavirus testing and healthcare; $145 billion for schools and childcare centers; $15 billion for the United States Postal Service and the elimination of the USPS full pre-funding requirement for retiree health benefits; $11 billion for food assistance, $25 billion for rental assistance; $400 million for states for election costs and certain protections from coronavirus lawsuits if business and schools follow enhanced worker safety protocols.

The caucus is led by Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. A formal news conference on the plan is slated for later Tuesday.

TAGS: Bipartisan lawmakers offer coronavirus relief solution in effort to break logjam

15 Sep 2020 18:14   |    69


When it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "Why, we only want to make peace!"Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realize (it) not.When it is said to them: "Believe as the others believe:" They say: "Shall we believe as the fools believe?" Nay, of a surety they are the fools, but they do not know. (The Cow   11-13 )


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