A bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion COVID-19 relief bill that would fund measures through March 31, including $228 billion in additional paycheck protection program funds for hotels, restaurants and other small businesses.
State and local governments would receive direct aid under the bipartisan bill, the lawmakers said. Senator Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, said the plan contains $560 billion in "repurposed" funding from the CARES Act enacted in March.
"It won't make everyone happy," Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said during a press conference on Tuesday. "But there's been an enormous amount of work done."
The 10 senators behind the bill, in addition to Romney and Warner, are Joe Manchin, D-W.V.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Angus King, I-Maine.
The proposal also is backed by the House Problem Solvers Caucus, a 50-member bipartisan group of U.S. representatives.
The lawmakers, speaking to reporters, said they have not yet secured backing for their plan from the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Their support would be essential for a compromise bill to advance in the House and Senate.
But it does contain provisions that Republicans have been pressing for: new liability protections for businesses and schools grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.
Pelosi and her Democrats would win a central demand: aid to state and local governments.
A compromise $300 per week in additional unemployment benefits would also be in the package, according to the lawmakers.
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were to discuss coronavirus aid and a must-pass government funding bill later on Tuesday.
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