PROBLEM SOLVERS CAUCUS, SENATE PARTNERS UNVEIL BIPARTISAN, BICAMERAL 4-MONTH COVID-19 EMERGENCY RELIEF PACKAGE
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Tuesday, December 1, 2020, the Problem Solvers Caucus and a bipartisan group of Senators announced a four-month bipartisan, bicameral COVID-19 emergency relief framework that will help American students, families, small businesses, workers, and health care providers during this crisis. The Problem Solvers Caucus, 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans, helped develop the bicameral package.
A breakdown of the COVID-19 emergency relief framework can be found HERE.
Problem Solvers Co-Chairs Tom Reed (NY-23) and Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), as well as Reps. Dusty Johnson (SD-AL), Dean Phillips (MN-3), Fred Upton (MI-6), Abigail Spanberger (VA-7), and Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16) were joined today by Senators Joe Manchin (WV), Susan Collins (ME), Mark Warner (VA), Bill Cassidy (LA), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Angus King (ME), Mitt Romney (UT), and Maggie Hassan (NH).
The framework allocates $908 billion in total aid, including both new funding and the reallocation of previously appropriated CARES Act funding. The framework targets resources to the following key categories:
- State, Local, and Tribal Governments - $160 billion
- Additional Unemployment Insurance (UI) - $180 billion
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) including restaurants, stages, and deductibility - $288 billion
- CDFI/MDI Community Lender Support - $12 billion
- Transportation (Airlines, Airports, Buses, Transit and Amtrak) - $45 billion
- Vaccine Development and Distribution and Testing and Tracing - $16 billion
- Healthcare Provider Relief Fund - $35 billion
- Education Funding - $82 billion
- Student Loans - $4 billion
- Housing Assistance (Rental) - $25 billion
- Nutrition/Agriculture - $26 billion
- U.S. Postal Service - $10 billion
- Child Care - $10 billion
- Dedicated Broadband Funding - $10 billion
- Opioid Funding - $5 billion
A recording of today’s press conference can be found HERE.
“For far too long, working families, small businesses, local governments, critical health care providers, and school districts across America have been left wondering when Washington would stop the partisan bickering and pass a comprehensive stimulus package,” said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Tom Reed (NY-23). “Now, we have a bipartisan, bicameral deal that directly addresses the needs of the nation and best positions the country for an effective rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s time to come together as proud Americans and get the job done.”
"This is a win for the American people, for common sense, and for problem solving. With cases spiking, winter around the corner, and countless small businesses closing every day, and far too many families hurting, we simply cannot leave anyone out in the cold. This is an essential down payment on what our families, small businesses, and local communities need," said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). "This four-month COVID-19 emergency relief package will get us through the hardest months of winter and into a new Administration."
“Our nation’s top economists and the White House have made it clear: Congress needs to act sooner than later on targeted focused relief,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson (SD-AL). “I’m proud to be a part of this bipartisan, bicameral group that’s put much-needed relief before politics. More than half of these dollars have been repurposed from CARES Act funding – it’s a responsible proposal. Our teachers, healthcare workers, business owners, and producers continue to step up as we battle COVID-19, it’s time Congress does too.”
“The need is great, the time is short, and the urgency is real. Our bipartisan, bicameral working group has found common ground, and now Congress must begin restoring faith in our government by passing an emergency COVID relief measure before year’s end,” said Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-3).
“Michigan just had the deadliest month from COVID-19 since the pandemic began. I hear daily from constituents who are struggling to make ends meet. Congress should not go home until we are able to get a COVID-19 deal passed and signed, delivering real help to those who need it most. It’s time for us to step up, and our colleagues need to get behind this effort or out of the way,” said Rep. Fred Upton (MI-6).
“Working families, small businesses, restaurant owners, and our communities need relief — and Congress must act. The failure to provide that relief over the last several months has been shameful, especially given that there are relief provisions and programs that are supported by both parties and both chambers of Congress, and most importantly, needed by the American people and our economy,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07). “This bipartisan, bicameral package reflects the priorities of the Seventh District — including funding for unemployment assistance, PPP, food assistance programs and our district’s farmers, rental assistance, broadband internet, and opioid treatment. Today we have demonstrated that we can unite around a common purpose in the face of a national emergency, and I urge my colleagues — as well as House and Senate leadership — to bring this package forward for a vote.”
“With the development of multiple successful vaccines, we are on the cusp of beating covid-19 and restoring our way of life, but we are not there yet. This sensible, bipartisan, bicameral proposal will provide those most in need with the bridge necessary to see us through this crisis. The time to act is now,” said Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16).
“Americans need to get through the darkness of winter, when we expect to see an explosion of COVID cases impact every part of our society – from small businesses, to frontline workers, and health care providers. The new Paycheck Protection Program funding, State and Local assistance, and support for unemployment insurance in our bipartisan, bicameral COVID relief framework package are all absolutely vital. I’m hopeful that what we proposed this morning will get through the House and Senate this month, ultimately to the President’s desk to sign,” said Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10).
“I am proud of the strong bipartisan and bicameral work being done by the Problem Solvers Caucus. The American people need immediate relief,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01). “The time for political gamesmanship is over. It is absurd that we are still engaged in partisan bickering when the American people are losing their homes, jobs, and businesses. We cannot afford to wait any longer. We need to do our job, and get America back to work.”
Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-5) said, “As COVID cases skyrocket nationwide, Americans are struggling. It is getting more and more difficult for small businesses to keep their lights on and workers employed. Folks need relief now and it’s time to put party aside and do what is right. This package is a bipartisan, bicameral solution, the only one of its kind. I urge leaders of the House and Senate to put this package on the floor now and get aid in to the hands of the American people.”
“I join my Problem Solvers Caucus colleagues in urging congressional leadership to put country over party and politics by considering our new bipartisan framework for COVID-19 relief. Clearly, some concessions were made in crafting this framework because we are running out of time to get relief to our working families, frontline workers, and small businesses, who have been devastated by this pandemic. We can no longer wait. It’s our responsibility to get this done now. Nevadans and the American people have waited far too long,” said Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03).
"Congress cannot sit idle, allowing partisan politics to outweigh the needs of the American people. This package proves when negotiating in good faith, putting party aside, and working on behalf of your constituents, there is progress to be made. Republicans and Democrats must come together to help the millions of workers, businesses, and families hurting as a result of this pandemic," said Rep. Van Taylor (TX-03).
“The American people are counting on us to help their families, businesses and communities recover from this brutal public health and economic crisis,” said Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52). “The only way a new COVID package gets done is to do our jobs and come together. The bicameral, bipartisan framework announced today by the Problem Solvers Caucus offers a fair, short-term emergency solution that puts country over party.”
Rep. John Katko (NY-24) said, “This framework is the direct result of continued bipartisan collaboration between lawmakers from both chambers of Congress. Central New York and our nation desperately need additional COVID-19 relief. This bipartisan, bicameral framework represents an important step forward in delivering critical relief to the frontlines.”
"Although the new administration, rightfully and thankfully, has made pandemic relief a priority, our country and communities cannot wait any longer. The pandemic is exploding, our hospitals are bursting, and our economy is hurting. Our strategy to defeat this disease has been federally funded, state mandated, and locally executed. Now more than ever, the federal government must live up to its obligation and provide temporary relief prior to the proper distribution of a vaccine so that we can control the virus, save lives, and support our communities. This temporary relief package is a prime example of the bipartisan and bicameral leadership that must be done for us to get things done in the 117th Congress,” said Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20).
“This has been the best compromise COVID relief package I’ve seen yet and it will bring much needed assistance to American’s businesses, families and workers,” said Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02). “Our businesses are struggling to keep their doors open, leading to less money in the pockets of hardworking families, and less funding for governments to keep essential services such as first responders. This proposal is also the most fiscally responsible of the options I’ve seen. As a member of the PSC, I know we must put politics aside and come to this bipartisan solution to help all Americans.”
“We cannot wait any longer for COVID relief. In addition to the heartbreaking loss from the pandemic, Washington inaction is hurting our communities. Our families, schools, small businesses, local governments, essential workers, and local economies need assistance. This compromise, led by members of both parties and both the House and Senate, needs to get done. With critical aid to small businesses, unemployment benefits, money for state and local governments, investment in education, child care, health care, and the postal service, we can get help to those who need it most. It’s time to cut through the partisan politics and deliver much-needed relief,” said Rep. Anthony Brindisi (NY-22).
“Many of the programs that receive funding in this bipartisan relief bill, including the Paycheck Protection Program, have had tremendous success and in some cases have made the difference between a small business being able to keep its doors open or not,” said Rep. Will Hurd (TX-23). “This bill is the culmination of what should have happened months ago: Bicameral, bipartisan negotiations. I urge my colleagues to support it so that we can deliver direct assistance now to the educators, small business owners, health care professionals and American workers who desperately need it.”
“Millions of hard-working families and small businesses are struggling as a result of this pandemic. We should seize this bipartisan opportunity to get something done and help them receive the boost they need now. Congress should do its job and show results,” said Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-04).
The Problem Solvers Caucus is a bipartisan group in Congress comprised of 50 members – equally divided between Democrats and Republicans – who are committed to forging bipartisan cooperation on key issues. It is co-chaired by Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY).