WASHINGTON â€“ A group of lawmakers introduced a bipartisan framework for a COVID-19 relief proposal in the latest effort to break the logjam in negotiations, but their proposal faces an uncertain future in a divided Congress with only weeks left in session.
The roughly $908 billion proposal is intended as a temporary package that would run until April, the lawmakers said,
"It would be stupidity on steroids if Congress left for Christmas without doing an interim package as a bridge," said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.
The group, led by the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers, many of whom faced tough reelection battles, and a moderate group of senators, said they had worked together on the compromise over the past month over pizza and pasta in each others' houses, including that of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
The proposal includes, among other provisions:
$160 billion for state, local and tribal governments
$180 billion for a federal boost unemployment insurance, coming out to $300 a week
$288 billion for small businesses, including a reauthorization of the Paycheck Protection Program
$45 billion for transportation
$10 billion for the United States Postal Service
Short-term federal protection from coronavirus-related lawsuits