Bipartisan Senate Group Introduces $900B Coronavirus Aid Package

The legislation would provide $908 billion in aid and also shield businesses from coronavirus lawsuits for a few months.
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Following months of failed negotiations, a bipartisan group of senators reportedly will introduce a broad coronavirus aid framework on Tuesday.

The legislation would provide $908 billion in aid and also shield businesses from coronavirus lawsuits for a few months to allow states to develop their own liability reforms,  according to a draft reviewed by Politico.

The proposal includes $160 billion in state and local aid, $180 billion in additional unemployment insurance and $288 billion for small businesses. It also has $82 billion for schools as well as $45 billion for transportation and includes money for health care.

The legislation is being introduced by Sens. Joe Manchin, Susan Collins, Mark Warner, Bill Cassidy, Jeanne Shaheen , Lisa Murkowski, Angus King, Mitt Romney and Maggie Hassan, as well as House members. 

Separately, some other senators have held bipartisan discussions about a solution.

Congress has not enacted a new significant round of aid since April.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have both called for more coronavirus relief, but GOP senators said if there was an aid package it’s unlikely to be attached to the spending bill due by Dec. 11, Politico noted. 

It is still uncertain whether Congress can actually clinch a new law before the end of the lame duck session.

In July, Senate Republicans unveiled their $1 trillion virus aid package that included cutting the current federal $600 weekly unemployment supplement down to $200 a week, and send $1,200 payments to most Americans.

Democrats offered a $2.2 trillion plan that includes money for schools and local governments.