A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a $908 billion coronavirus relief package, which includes $748 billion in jobless benefits and a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans for small businesses. The package, announced late Monday, also provides $160 billion in liability protection and state and local aid.
“Now it’s up to the leadership to take it and make this happen in a timely basis,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, R-W.Va., in introducing the plan, referring to senior members of Congress.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in comments on the Senate floor Monday afternoon that “we look forward to reviewing their work.”
Added Schumer: “It is imperative that we pass another round of emergency federal relief from the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” adding that Democrats remain “100% committed to getting another round of emergency relief to the American people before the end of the year and in a robust, bold way because America needs it so badly.”
Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., explained in separate statement that “Congress must pass an economic relief package before the end of the year to avert more economic backsliding and financial catastrophe for millions of families. The bipartisan group has worked in good faith, and I appreciate their efforts.”
Wyden, however, noted his disappointment with “the $300 weekly boost” in unemployment benefits that is not retroactive.
“Millions of workers are thousands of dollars behind on their rent and utilities, and providing retroactive benefits is critical if they have any hope of catching up. More broadly, the pandemic is worse than it has ever been, and workers would be far better off with a reinstatement of the full $600 weekly boost,” Wyden said.
“I also wanted to see relief checks for working folks, and will continue to push for them,” he stated.