A six-page framework of the Moderates’ Plan, which was obtained by The New York Times, said the group had an “agreement in principle” to provide $ 160 billion to state and local governments and offer liability guarantees. to companies and other institutions open during the pandemic “as a basis for good faith negotiations”. But he left out all the substantive details.
The lack of details highlighted the remaining hurdles for the group, which has grown steadily in recent days as it works to complete its plan. And some senators have recognized that the success of any final deal rests on Congressional leaders from both houses who have yet to fully embrace their work.
“I think at the end of the day this has to be largely negotiated between the speaker and the majority leader,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, Republican from Missouri, who praised the group for its progress so far. . “If they have a broad base of consensus with which to start, maybe it will make it easier for them to make the final decisions.”
The moderates’ sketch would raise weekly federal unemployment benefit to $ 300 per week for 16 weeks from late December through April, and extend a series of unemployment programs that expire at the end of the month. It would provide $ 10 billion to child care providers, $ 25 billion in housing assistance, $ 82 billion to education providers, $ 6 billion for vaccine development and distribution, and 7 billions of dollars to state, local and tribal governments to conduct testing and research.
Their plan would reuse the money Mr. Mnuchin recovered from the Federal Reserve and remaining funds from the expired Paycheck Protection Program and allow small businesses to receive another loan from the popular Small Business Program. Notably, it does not include another round of stimulus checks, which some lawmakers – including Senators Bernie Sanders, independent from Vermont, and Josh Hawley, Republican from Missouri – have been pushing for in recent days.
And while Democratic leaders called it a starting point for negotiations, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and majority leader, did not approve of it. Instead, he suggested Tuesday that Democrats drop their request for funding for state and local governments in exchange for Republicans giving up on including a corporate accountability shield, an idea the Democrats immediately rejected it.