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Stimulus negations are stalled: Democratic leaders refuse to go lower than a broad package of $2.2 trillion in economic aid, while the White House won’t offer more than $1.3 trillion.
To help end the stalemate and bolster the economy, a bipartisan group of 24 House Democrats and 24 House Republicans offered a comprise bill this week that would set aside at least $1.5 trillion for economic aid, and could rise to $2 trillion depending on the state of the economy in 2021.
The Problem Solvers Caucus proposal would provide another $1,200 stimulus check, $450 weekly enhanced unemployments benefits, and $500 billion for state and local government finding. The latter is well below the $1 trillion Democratic leaders are seeking for state and local governments.
And the bipartisan proposal would allocate $145 billion for child care and school funding, $100 billion for coronavirus testing and health care, and $145 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans.
But the proposal by the Problem Solvers Caucus can’t go anywhere without support from House leaders. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Wednesday Democrats might not lower their stimulus ask from $2.2 trillion, which was $3.4 trillion in August.
“We did come down … we can only go so far,” Pelosi said. But she said House leaders will keep representatives in D.C. until they can slash out a deal.
Earlier in the month White House chief of staff Mark Meadows suggested going up to $1.5 trillion was a non-starter for the GOP. However, the $1.5 trillion Problem Solvers Caucus comprise bill got a warm reception from the White House on Wednesday.
“I agree with a lot of it … I heard Nancy Pelosi say she doesn’t want to leave until we have an agreement. She’s come a long way,” President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday.
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