WASHINGTON D.C., DC — When it comes to a new round of federal coronavirus relief, talks have been stalled for months, until now. On Tuesday, Senators Susan Collins, Angus King, and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire joined six others to announce a new stimulus plan.
The emergency relief framework is said to help students, families, businesses, workers, and health care providers.
Here’s a breakdown of the $908 billion pandemic relief package proposal:
- It would last four months, covering December 1 through March 31, 2021
- $560 billion is repurposed from CARES Act funding
- The new money includes $228 billion to cover the Paycheck Protection Program
- Which, according to Senator Collins -- in Maine PPP aid has helped sustain the jobs of 250,000 workers
- It would provide $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits to tens of millions of jobless Americans
The framework also includes a temporary moratorium on some coronavirus-related lawsuits against firms and other entities, giving states enough time to put in place protections.
In addition, the package would provide housing assistance, student loan forbearance, nutrition assistance for people who may not qualify for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and broadband funding, although the details were not immediately clear.
"We recognize that families all across America are struggling, businesses are closing," said Sen. Collins. "It is absolutely essential that we pass emergency relief."
"This is an opportunity for the American people to have some relief," said Sen. King.
U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and members of the House of Representatives joined Senators Collins, King, and Shaheen in backing the framework.
Senators hope to have the bill in writing in the next two weeks.