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A group of bipartisan legislators including members from both the House and Senate unveiled a $908 billion coronavirus relief bill on Tuesday in hopes of ending the months-long gridlock between Democratic and Republican leadership in reaching a deal the White House would also sign off on.
NBC News reported that the proposal "is designed to include elements that will satisfy both parties," but "it doesn't include some popular provisions, like another round of direct payments to families." It does include $180 to renew unemployment benefits, and $288 billion in support for small businesses.
But it also includes $160 million for state and local governments, which President Donald Trump has rejected in the past as a bail-out for blue states and cities that carried huge deficits prior to the crisis. In a nod to Republicans, the legislation would provide liability protections for businesses against COVID-19-related lawsuits in the "short-term," which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has cited as a priority.
The Democrats in the group include Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Mark Warner (Va.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), and Maggie Hassan (N.H.), along with Reps. Abigail Spanberger (Va.), Dean Phillips (Minn.), and Josh Gottheimer (N.J.).
The Republicans involved are Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Bill Cassidy (La.), and Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), Fred Upton (Mich.), Dusty Johnson (S.D.), and Tom Reed (N.Y.). The proposal is being presented in the Senate.
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