A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate unveiled a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus proposal Tuesday in an effort to break a months-long stalemate on a second package.
The proposal was drafted by senators from both sides, including Republicans Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, and Democrats Joe Manchin and Mark Warner. The $908 billion proposal falls well short of the $2.2 trillion request by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and significantly more than the $500 billion package voted on this fall by Senate Republicans.
According to Fortune, the bill will set aside $180 billion to pay out a weekly $300 federal unemployment benefit, which would be paid on top of state unemployment benefits. Additionally, the proposal would set aside $82 billion for education, $45 billion for airlines and transportation, and $25 billion in housing assistance.
The proposal also includes $160 billion in state and local government funding and $288 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. The one thing the proposal does not include is a second round of coronavirus stimulus checks.
Hours after the proposal was unveiled, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected the proposal, touting his idea for a piecemeal bill, much like the one he proposed in September and which Pelosi rejected.
“We just don’t have time to waste time,” McConnell told reporters according to CNBC and added he believes the looming shutdown in 10 days will lead to a spending bill and a relief package will “all likely come in one package.”
The bipartisan group told reporters they had no assurances from Pelosi or McConnell on their bill, but the fact that the group drafted it, speaks to the impatience from states on a second relief bill as they run out of money and residents suffer.
“It is absolutely essential that we pass emergency relief,” Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins told reporters at the press briefing unveiling the proposal.
The country saw coronavirus cases and death fall during the summer, but since the fall began cases have been skyrocketing back toward numbers not seen since early last year.
Additionally, because of President Trump‘s stance and inability to do anything related to ending the pandemic, states are currently running out of Personal Protective Equipment, hospital beds and even staff.
There are currently more than 14 million active coronavirus cases in the U.S. and more than 276,000 deaths. Both numbers are expected to increase significantly as people refuse to heed warnings and travel during the holidays.