Published in: Personal Finance | Sept. 15, 2020
By: Christy Bieber
Waiting for more coronavirus relief? The House Problem Solvers Caucus is introducing a stimulus bill that could help make that happen.
Americans have been eagerly waiting for more coronavirus relief since the CARES Act passed in March, but lawmakers have come to a stalemate where compromise has proved impossible.
Although Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has indicated the White House is in favor of stimulus relief regardless of its impact on the deficit, concerns about both the price of another bill and its contents have thus far prevented any relief bills from passing Congress and making their way to the president's desk.
Hopefully, that will soon change. The House Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of 50 centrist lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, have indicated they'll unveil a $1.5 trillion stimulus plan as soon as this afternoon. While members of the Caucus don't believe their plan will actually be signed into law, they hope that it will urge House and Senate leaders to resume negotiations and focus on issues where there is agreement.
One of the key sticking points preventing the passage of another coronavirus relief bill is the size of the package. The House Democrats passed the HEROES Act along party lines, which carried a price tag of more than $3 trillion while Republicans have repeatedly indicated they'd prefer to keep the costs of further relief at around $1 trillion.
The plan introduced by the House Problem Solvers Caucus aims to find a compromise but errs on the low side, with the price of their plan expected to be around $1.5 trillion. It also primarily includes proposals that already have bipartisan support. Some of the key components of the plan include:
The Problem Solvers Caucus hopes to send a signal to leadership that there are more points of consensus than many realize and that it could be possible for a compromise bill to pass. However, repeated attempts to negotiate have failed, and Democrats have indicated they aren't interested in a piecemeal approach but rather want broad legislation that provides the relief Americans need or nothing at all.
Still, their efforts may restart talks as lawmakers on both the right and left have indicated they do want to help those who are hurting -- even if they're having a hard time finding a way to do it. Since more relief is far from a certainty, though, you should consider taking advantage of existing relief if you need help.
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