WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the U.S., some lawmakers are considering a new round of economic relief for some businesses.
Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., are working on another COVID-19 relief package, a bipartisan effort to issue another round of stimulus checks for restaurants, gyms, entertainment venues, and other businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic, as cases are surging, sources confirmed to NewsNation.
The Washington Post reported that the plan would total $68 billion, including new spending and repurposing funds that have not been spent from other stimulus packages.
While lawmakers are discussing this, the White House has been downplaying this and the chance of another round of stimulus.
“We did a major relief package that included helping restaurants just last year; we are in constant discussions with Congress and leadership about the needs of the American people, whether they have small businesses or restaurants or people sitting in their homes as we continue to fight the pandemic, but don’t have any new prediction of pending or new pending requests or specific requests and wouldn’t predict that at this moment in time, said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
While the economy has made rapid gains this year — payrolls are up more than expected, holiday sales were up 8.5% over the holiday season and supply chain issues are getting resolved — the spread of the omicron variant has raised concerns that it might cause harm to an improving economy.