The bipartisan proposal would not only extend those unemployment programs by 16 weeks, but it would revive a stale additional benefit of around $ 300 per week – half of the original amount – and extend the student loan forbearance and eviction moratoria.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and majority leader, had previously proposed removing liability protections, one of his top priorities, as well as state and local aid, a suggestion Democrats had originally pitched. But after moderates proposed the two bills Monday at a press conference on Capitol Hill, Illinois Senator Richard J. Durbin, Senate Democrat No. 2, and at least one other Democrat have expressed their willingness to drop both issues in the absence of an agreement.
“This is a really complicated question, and trying to come to a full resolution by Friday is going to be very difficult,” said Senator Angus King, independent from Maine and one of the many lawmakers who have negotiated on the language. of responsibility. “We will continue to work on it, but it may last until January.”
It remained unclear whether the bipartisan compromise of moderates, first sketched out shortly after Thanksgiving, would be part of a final deal. President Nancy Pelosi of California spoke with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for about 20 minutes on Monday evening and continued to push for the inclusion of funds for state and local governments.
Members of the centrist group – including Senators Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, as well as Reps Josh Gottheimer, Democrat of New Jersey, and Tom Reed, Republican of New York – huddled during days to hammer out the details. The bipartisan House coalition led by Mr. Gottheimer and Mr. Reed, known as the Problem Solvers Caucus, continues to work to merge the two bills into one.
The $ 748 billion deal would provide $ 300 billion for small businesses, restaurants and theaters, as well as $ 13 billion for emergency food aid, $ 82 billion for education, 45 billion dollars for airlines, airports, Amtrak and mass transit and $ 16 billion for testing, tracing and developing and distributing vaccines, according to a summary.
At the press conference behind the two piles of laws, lawmakers on both sides stressed that the compromise legislation would not include all priorities and that additional legislation could pass under the new Biden administration.