WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — A group of lawmakers who call themselves the “Problem Solvers Caucus” unveiled their own bipartisan coronavirus stimulus plan, motivated by a common frustration with their parties’ leaders failing to negotiate new stimulus measures. The caucus is made up of 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans.
“So my position is something has to happen,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger, Democrat from Virginia. “We owe it to the American people. We’ve been working hard within our group to put out something that would bring people back to the table.”
“Anyone who’s in this experience I think sometimes gets frustrated,” said Rep. Chris Stewart, Republican from Utah. He, like Spanberger, says its time for his party leaders to return to the negotiating table. “Let’s get what pandemic relief we can get.”
The caucus released a framework for a larger stimulus package. It’s measures include, among others, $100 billion for Coronavirus testing, $316 billion in direct payments to Americans, and $145 billion for schools and child care. Their package also includes liability protection for businesses, a Republican priority, and $500 billion for state and local governments, a Democrat priority.
“I think it’s a lot of passion, and a sense of urgency we’re seeing right now,” said Rep. Cheri Bustos, Democrat from Illinois.
Bustos, not a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, says there is mounting pressure on both sides of the aisle to pass a stimulus bill. She says she believes a solid relief package is coming.
But not everyone is so optimistic. Some lawmakers, like Rep. Tim Burchett, Republican from Tennessee, remain skeptical.
“If the opinion polls show the party that’s in control can stay in control by not passing anything, then the public will hurt,” said Burchett.
Rank-in-file Republicans and Democrats say they’re pushing their party leaders to restart negotiations with each other, and with the White House. Spanberger said White House officials were interested in some of the caucus’ measures.