WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As we draw closer to the end of the year…the clock is ticking for Congress to pass another COVID relief bill.
“Our actions to provide emergency relief are needed now more than ever before,” West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin said.
Manchin joined Senate Democrats and Republicans to announce a new framework for COVID relief.
“People need to know that we are not going to leave until we get something accomplished,” Manchin said.
The almost one trillion dollar plan would provide aid to American students, families, businesses, workers, and healthcare providers. Virginia Senator Mark Warner says lawmakers need to act.
“It would be stupidity on steroids if congress left for Christmas without doing an interim package as a bridge,” Warner said.
Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy says the proposal requires compromise from both sides.
“Republicans and Democrats, neither of us got everything we wanted. Both of us got much of what we wanted,” Cassidy said.
The plan does not include direct payments to Americans, but provides funding to areas lawmakers say the pandemic is hitting the hardest.
“This is going to get us through the most difficult times,” Machin said.
Even with bipartisan support, lawmakers like Senator Mitt Romney recognize the next step will be getting support from leadership on both sides.
“I don’t have any prediction on how the white house would react. We’ve also communicated with the majority leader’s office about what we’re working on but neither has described if they would support or not support what we’ve put together,” Romney said.
But with relief programs set to expire at the end of the month, members of congress say something must be done now.