MIDWOOD, Brooklyn — After months of congressional gridlock, with Americans suffering from the health and economic consequences of the pandemic, the gridlock in Washington appears to be easing.
Lawmakers from both parties said they are moving toward a new round of stimulus as part of a larger deal to fund the government and avoid another shut down.
“I’m pleased the tone of our conversations is indicative of the decision to get the job done,” said Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today.
Pelosi said she is working with Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell on a plan that would fund the government into next year and at the same time provide coronavirus relief.
The deadline for that deal would be Dec. 11 to avoid another government shutdown.
“The bipartisan framework… Could be a basis for real bi-cameral negotiations,” Pelosi said.
The $908 billion proposal she is referring to includes funding to help fight pandemic. However, the biggest economic pieces include extending soon to be expiring unemployment benefits and adding a $300 weekly boost. There is also $228 billion for the popular paycheck protection program. $160 billion for state and local governments.
“We do think the way we have framed this is the way the Founders expected us to,” said Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. “Party is not important. It is about the needs of the American people.”
The need is growing, not just because the pandemic worsening, but because the November jobs report released Friday shows the American economy is stalled.
The jobs reporter said the county added only 245,000 jobs in November, much less than expected.
The slowing job growth signals a slowing recovery. Employers have yet to add back 9.8 million jobs since the beginning of the pandemic in February.
Many of the jobs may be gone for good. Most sectors of the economy only posted minimal gains, but industries like retail and hospitality hit hardest by the pandemic are losing jobs once again.
President Elect Joe Biden has voiced support for the bipartisan deal and said he is involved in negotiations. He said the $908 Billion is just “down payment,” pointing to a looming rent and mortgage payment crisis once eviction moratoriums begin to expire.