Sens. Joe Manchin, Susan Collins, Mark Warner, Bill Cassidy, Jeanne Shaheen, Lisa Murkowski, Angus King, Mitt Romney and Maggie Hassan announced what they called a bipartisan and bicameral Covid-19 emergency relief framework aimed at helping Americans affected by the pandemic.
Manchin called the $908 billion dollar “framework” relief that would go through April 1 “a labor of intense effort” that came together in about 30 days.
“It’s inexcusable for us to leave town and not have an agreement,” Manchin said. “This is going to get us through the most difficult times.”
Warner also said he hopes they pass something before Christmas.
“It’s not going make everybody happy but there's been an enormous amount of work done,” Warner said. “It would be stupidity on steroids if Congress left for Christmas without doing an interim package as a bridge."
Romney said the group has spoken with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about the framework but he hasn’t weighed in. He also said they’ve spoken to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as well.
“I happened to be a deficit hawk, I don’t like borrowing money, I don’t like spending money we don’t have,” Romney said, but he supports this proposal because $560 billion dollars is money repurposed from the CARES Act so the amount of new money is actually $348 billion dollars.
When asked when there will be a bill, Manchin said the group can put one together.
“We can put one together,” Manchin said. “We have not had assurances .. for a vote, but I think the American people will put the pressure showing there’s a group of us coming together that this needs to be done.”
Reps. Abigail Spanberger, Dean Phillips, Dusty Johnson, Tom Reed, Josh Gottheimer, Anthony Gonzalez and Fred Upton of the Problem Solvers Caucus were present as well.