A bipartisan group of senators is unveiling a compromise $908bn Covid relief bill.
The Republican and Democrat lawmakers spent much of the Thanksgiving holiday trying to break the impasse between the two parties.
As the coronavirus surges and spreads uncontrolled over much of the country, the Covid Emergency Relief Framework includes provisions to help small businesses, state and local governments, and to pay for unemployment insurance.
Some $560bn of the total funding would be repurposed from the CARES Act, the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package passed in March. The actual new money is $348bn.
However, the new bill is unlikely to move forward in its current state, as the dollar amount is far less than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would like, and far more than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would want.
It is, however, a framework with which the leaders may be able to work.
At the launch of the bipartisan framework, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah said: “I happen to be a deficit hawk. I don’t like borrowing money. I don’t like spending money we don’t have. But the time to borrow money ... is when there’s a crisis, and this is a crisis.”
He continued: "We want to help people at this particular time. And so we’ve come together, and we’ve been very careful. This is not a $1.8 trillion stimulus bill. This is a relief measure — half that amount."