Politics

Bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus Offers $1.5 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Plan

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Andrew Trunsky Elections Reporter
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The House Problem Solvers Caucus will present a $1.5 trillion coronavirus relief plan Tuesday in an effort to break the months-long congressional stalemate before the November election.

The proposal, crafted by the group of approximately 50 centrist lawmakers, faces unfavorable odds in a fight that has been dominated by partisan divisions over what a relief package should include, The New York Times reported.

However despite the plan’s slim chance at being signed into law, its public presentation reflects growing frustration from moderate members of both parties over Congress’s failure to pass any supplemental relief, according to the Times.

The proposed bill would revive the Paycheck Protection Program and reissue $1200 checks to qualifying American taxpayers, measures that have bipartisan support, and also offers legal protections for workers and their employers.

The plan would also bring back weekly unemployment aid with $450-per-week payments, and would replace up to $600 in lost wages each week for up to five weeks, the Times reported.

The proposal falls in between each party’s respective target, exceeding the GOP’s pitch for weekly payments but falling short of the $600 weekly payments that some Democrats preferred, according to the Times.

The plan would also send $500 billion to cash-strapped state and local governments, roughly double what the White House initially proposed but far short of the $1 trillion that Democrats had favored, according to the Times.

The bipartisan group’s proposal also provides $100 billion for coronavirus testing and contract tracing and federal funds for expanding nationwide broadband, supporting struggling agricultural workers and extending the 2020 census to guarantee an accurate count. (RELATED: Court Rules That Illegal Immigrants Must Be Counted In 2020 Census)

The caucus is co-chaired by New Jersey Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer and New York GOP Rep. Tom Reed, and its plan comes as talks between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House negotiators, mainly Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have stalled.

Even with the proposal, there is little chance that talks are revived, and both groups involved have conceded that it is unlikely a relief plan is passed before the election, the Times reported, leaving millions of Americans without unemployment aid and risking the survival of small businesses across the country.

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