Bipartisan lawmakers plan to unveil a coronavirus stimulus package on Tuesday after months of Congressional inaction to curb the economic damage from the outbreak.
Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner, a member of a congressional group debating a new relief plan, told CNBC that the proposal will range between $ 500,000 and $ 2.2 trillion, which Republican and Democratic leaders are seeking. He called for an "interim package" to provide support until President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January.
"If there's one thing I consistently hear, it's:" Congress, don't leave town on vacation, get out of the country and do business with all of these initial CARES [Act] programs, "Warner said across from CNBC's "Squawk Box". ""
Charles Schumer, Senate Minority Chairman, D-N.Y., Right; and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, Senate Majority Leader.
Tom Williams | CQ appeal group | Getty Images
The Washington Post reported that the plan cost a total of $ 908 billion and likely increased unemployment benefits of $ 300 per week, $ 300 billion for small loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, and $ 240 billion for state and local governments , would include temporary corporate liability coverage and US $ 50 billion in health care support and vaccine distribution. It would not include a second round of direct payments. The newspaper noted that details were not necessarily final.
It is unclear whether the leaders of Congress will adopt the proposal or whether it will lead to a breakthrough before the end of the year, when many programs expire. Democrats have spoken out against liability protection and pushed for additional unemployment benefits of $ 600 per week, while the GOP has pushed against new state and local aid.
The pandemic has ravaged the country, strained hospitals, and forced state and local officials to put new restrictions in place to slow infections. At the same time, the lifelines established by Congress earlier this year will expire at the end of the year, hitting Americans who are already struggling to cover the costs.
The programs, which expire in late December, include an extension of unemployment insurance, a federal moratorium on student loan payments, and some eviction protections.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Have fallen short of their $ 2.2 trillion and $ 500 billion in aid, respectively brought under your feet. The leaders of the Democratic House and the GOP-controlled Senate have not had formal talks on incentives since the 2020 elections on November 3.
During the stalemate, members of both parties have called for compromises to ease some of the pressure on the economy and the health system. In addition to the economic programs, the federal government is likely to have to approve funds to streamline the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines in the coming months.
Senators who participated in the discussion of the aid proposal include Warner, Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.V., Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah. Some members of the House were also involved.
If the unemployment programs expire at the end of the year, about 12 million Americans could lose benefits. The two policies allow individuals to take out insurance for longer than normal and make freelance workers, contractors, and others who are normally not entitled to benefits eligible to receive them.
Warner headed a letter from around 30 Democratic senators to the chamber leadership on Tuesday calling for both directives to be extended. They wrote that the loss of perks around Christmas would be "particularly cruel" as the outbreak is expected to worsen over the winter months.
Some lawmakers may be pushing to tie the coronavirus aid provisions to a spending bill that Congress must pass before December 11th to avoid a government shutdown.
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– CNBC's Ylan Mui contributed to this report
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