Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is circulating a new relief plan as part of a last-ditch effort to pass a bill to prop up the struggling economy before year's end, moving to lock down Republican support even as a number of his own members and Democrats push for a different approach.
It's unclear whether the flurry of activity will lead to progress. But his initiative fell flat with Democrats and a key GOP moderate.
The $908 billion compromise has the backing of the Problem Solvers, a 50-strong group of House Democrats and Republicans that had made another attempt at bridging the divide before Election Day. Hoyer said he wants a House vote by December 10.
"I stand with Mitch McConnell and Mnuchin", he said when asked about a $908 billion versus a $500 billion package. Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that they believe this proposal should be a framework for any future negotiations.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday said he continues to back the McConnell plan.
"We don't have time for messaging games, we don't have time for lengthy negotiations".
Biden is supporting an additional aid package that's as large as possible now.
McConnell's reworked plan swiftly leaked.
Biden said Tuesday that any relief package passed in the current lame-duck session of Congress would be "at best just a start".
McConnell, in a tweet, argued that Republicans have spent months proposing more COVID-19 relief. It was a sign that some lawmakers are reluctant to adjourn for the year without approving some pandemic aid. Collins and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., among others. It would establish a $300 per week jobless benefit, send $160 billion to help state and local governments, boost schools and universities, revive popular "paycheck protection" subsidies for businesses, and bail out transit systems and airlines. It also would extend the super-charged unemployment benefits by one month, rather than until March as in the bipartisan compromise.
It also includes $31 billion for vaccine distribution.
McConnell had dismissed the bipartisan offer on Tuesday, instead aiming to rally Republicans around the $550 billion GOP proposal.
The new effort follows a split-decision election that delivered the White House to Democrats and gave Republicans down-ballot success. The announcement appeared aimed at budging McConnell, who so far has been unwilling to abandon a $550 billion Senate GOP plan that failed twice this fall.
"It's not a time for political brinkmanship", Manchin said. "We can do this in a systematic way to help those who need it" by deploying unused funds left over from previous congressional action, he said on Fox News.
"We couldn't go home at Christmastime without doing something because the need is so great", he told reporters on Wednesday. The deadline could still change via a short-term government funding bill that buys a bit more time. Mnuchin told reporters as he arrived at a Senate Banking Committee hearing to assess earlier COVID rescue efforts that he and Pelosi are focused primarily on the unfinished appropriations bills, however.
The developing coronavirus (COVID-19) aid package includes monies for governments, schools, businesses and unemployment but is missing one of the most awaited forms of relief - a second stimulus check.
That's a priority for McConnell.
His warnings of a wave of destructive suits hasn't been borne out, and the provision is sure to drew opposition from the trial lawyers' lobby, which retains considerable influence with Democratic leaders. Talks on that measure are proceeding, but if lawmakers should stumble, a temporary spending bill would be needed as a bridge into next year.
The new bipartisan, bicameral proposal unveiled Tuesday would check off some of Mrs. Pelosi's demands, though with smaller dollar amounts.