Lawmakers divided on second coronavirus stimulus plan

National News

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — After a day of closed-door talks, Republicans are still without a coronavirus stimulus plan.

“Now we’re in this emergency state,” said Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., said.

Bustos is slamming what she calls a last-minute scramble.

“To be in this crunch position right now is simply unfair to the American people,” Sen. Gary Peters said.

Michigan senators Peters and Debbie Stabenow say time is running out.

“There are a lot of things we need to get done,” Peters said.

“What are they going to do,” Stabenow said.

Programs blocking evictions, foreclosures and extra unemployment benefits expire within days.

“Without that, it’s about a 60% cut in what they’re receiving right now,” Stabenow said.

Stabenow says schools are also desperate for aid.

“I had a Zoom call about a week ago with about 100 superintendents, and it’s clear that the longer we wait, the tougher it’s going to be,” she said.

So far, details surrounding the GOP plan remain vague.

But with an expected price tag of $1 trillion or more, Republicans like Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley say it’s just too expensive. 

“I’m not going to vote for it if it’s just a bunch of spending on random issues for special interests. I’m not going to vote for bailouts … . If it’s not focused on jobs and actually getting people back to work, I’m not voting for it,” Hawley said

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst says she’s more flexible.

“I think (the dollar figure) is something that we should always be concerned about as well, but then we also have to look at life and safety,” Ernst said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans have an agreement in principal that will be unveiled on Monday.

Mcconell says the Cares 2 Act will focus on three things: jobs, education and healthcare. He says he does not want to focus on “socialist fantasies.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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