HOPE is growing for a second stimulus package as Joe Biden backed the latest $908billion proposal, saying it’s “a good start”.
"I think it should be passed," Biden said about the latest bipartisan proposal during an interview with CNN on Thursday.
The president-elect admitted that after his inauguration in January he's "going to have to ask for more help when we get there to get things done."
The new $908billion bipartisan proposal was unveiled Tuesday by Democrats and Republicans.
The relief package includes $288billion in small business aid, $160billion in state and local government relief and $180billion to fund a $300 per week supplemental unemployment benefit through March.
According to a draft framework, the package would also put $16billion into vaccine distribution, testing and contact tracing.
It would allocate $82billion into education and put $45billion into transportation, as well as funneling funds for rental assistance, child care and broadband.
But the major takeaway from this proposal is that it does not include another $1,200 stimulus check.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell spoke on Thursday, a day after the House Speaker and Chuck Schumer urged the top Republican to use the bipartisan proposal as the basis for relief talks.
"In the spirit of compromise we believe the bipartisan framework introduced by Senators yesterday should be used as the basis for immediate bipartisan, bicameral negotiations," Schumer and Pelosi said on Wednesday.
Drew Hammill, Pelosi's chief of staff, tweeted on Thursday that both McConnell and the House Speaker "shared commitment to completing an omnibus and COVID relief as soon as possible."
“We had a good conversation. I think we’re both interested in getting an outcome, both on the omnibus and on a coronavirus package,” McConnell said.
On Tuesday, the top Republican claimed that after several conversations with White House officials, President Donald Trump was "ready to sign" the next relief bill after putting forth another proposal.
Secretary of Treasure Steve Mnuchin confirmed McConnell's remarks, saying: "The president will sign the McConnell proposal he put forward yesterday, and we look forward to making progress on that."
Reuters reported that McConnell's outline is very close to the legislation that the Senate leader has been proposing for months, which was rejected by Democrats.
For months, the Senate Leader has been proposing a "more modest" relief bill in the $500billion range.
According to the outlet, the plan includes $332.7billion in new loans or grants to small businesses, however no mention of another round of stimulus checks.
President Trump reportedly told Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to work with the Senate to get a new relief bill done.
However, Schumer cast doubt on the proposal's future, saying the Senate leader had not sought support from Democrats.
"The obvious fact of the matter is the biggest impediment to getting an agreement is the Republican leader refusing to negotiate in a bipartisan way,” Schumer told reporters on Tuesday.
Biden has also repeatedly pushed for an "immediate relief", calling on Republicans and Democrats to work together to get a relief bill done.
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Plans for a second coronavirus relief package have also been backed by a group of more than 100 economists, who've called the $1,200 stimulus check "essential".
The major issues that come in the way of an agreement have to do with education funding, money allocated toward state and local government, coronavirus testing and unemployment benefits.
All of the most significant stimulus programs featured in the CARES Act are set to expire on Dec. 31, 2020.