WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — While negotiations between congressional leaders on another COVID-19 relief package remain stalled, some lawmakers are taking matters into their own hands.
Democrats and Republicans from both the House and the Senate are putting forth their own emergency relief bill to help Americans during the pandemic.
As the end of the year approaches, so does the end of the economic assistance that small businesses, students, and families have been receiving.
“Our job here in this great Capitol and in the dome is to listen to the American people. And the American people are suffering,” said Congressman Tom Reed, R-New York.
Unemployment insurance, student loan forbearance and other arrangements are set to run out at the end of the month.
Reed joined colleagues from both chambers and both parties to urge action on a $908 billion compromise bill.
“I can’t think of a better time than the Christmas holiday to honor the call of the American people,” Reed added.
“This four-month COVID-19 relief package will help get us through the hardest months of winter and into a new administration,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer, D-New Jersey. “It’s an essential down payment and what our families, small businesses and communities need.”
Notably, the plan calls for nearly $160 billion to help state and local governments, along with $180 billion for unemployment insurance.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, says legislators are determined not to go home until they pass something.
“Our action to provide emergency relief is needed now more than ever before,” Manchin said. “The people need to know that we are not going to leave until we get something accomplished.”
But, there are obstacles ahead as lawmakers don’t have assurance on the bill receiving a vote House and Senate leadership.