The compromise proposal was put forward by a bipartisan group of lawmakers including Senators Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, and Susan Collins, Republican of Maine. The group and its staff are expected to continue working to finalize the legislation by the weekend.
Business talks have stalled for months and lawmakers have been unable to resolve differences on issues such as liability coverage, a Republican demand that Democrats opposed, and the provision of federal aid to state and local governments solving what is a top priority for Democrats, who many Republicans speak out against. They are also still struggling to resolve a number of political disputes in the must-pass bills needed to keep government funding going beyond December 11th.
The looming compromise would revive expired federal unemployment benefits at $ 300 per week for 18 weeks, providing billions of dollars for small businesses, schools, and the upcoming distribution of a vaccine.
“What really worries me is the American people who believe Congress has struck a deal, we get Covid relief, and then their lives hardly change,” New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told reporters at the Capitol Hill. “Will I be supporting resources for hospitals, schools, and firefighters? Absolutely. But I am extremely concerned that it will not solve people’s immediate problems. “
Although Ms. Pelosi admitted that there were still obstacles to an agreement, she insisted that there was “enough time” to close a deal before the government’s funding deadline on December 11th. She pointed to lower-than-expected job gains on Friday as an additional accelerator.
“There is momentum. There is momentum, ”said Ms. Pelosi. “I am pleased that the tone of our conversations is an indication of the decision to get the job done.”
After months of insisting that she would not accept a stripped-down aid bill, Ms. Pelosi now appears ready to accept less than a third of the original Democratic proposed spending to support small businesses, the uninsured and the unemployed Empower state and local governments and meet immediate public health needs.