Rep. Joe Cunningham and the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus today unveiled their “March To Common Ground” framework to help break the gridlock on the latest COVID-19 relief package and encourage negotiators to get back to the table.
The 50 member bipartisan Caucus - 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans – developed the framework to address key areas of need, including COVID-19 testing, unemployment insurance, direct stimulus, worker and liability protection, small business and non-profit support, food security, schools and child care, housing, election support, and state and local aid. Cunningham helped play a key role in the Caucus’ negotiations as they developed the package, bringing input and feedback from Lowcountry constituents and contributing it to this plan.
“With thousands of South Carolinians still out of work, small businesses struggling to keep the lights on, and state and local governments fiscally exhausted, it is long past time Congress stops the partisan political posturing and comes together to negotiate another COVID-19 relief package,” said Rep. Joe Cunningham. “This bipartisan framework would allocate the necessary funding for testing, relief for working families, unemployed Americans, and small businesses, and much-needed aid for state and local governments. Americans are counting on their elected officials so failure is not an option.”
In light of the urgent needs facing millions of Americans, families, and small businesses, the framework is designed for a six month horizon and through the next inauguration, except for state and local funding which extends for a full year.
Depending on the severity of the pandemic and if a successful vaccination program is adopted by March, 2021, a system of automatic “boosters” are designed to incrementally increase the amount of relief to individuals and families. Conversely, a system of “reducers” will decrease the total cost of the package.
The framework calls for both new stimulus money and the reallocation of previously appropriated “CARES Act” funding, and allocates resources to the following key categories:
- Testing & Healthcare ($100B)
- Direct Assistance to Individuals & Families ($316B)
- Unemployment Assistance ($120B)
- Small Business & Non-profit Support ($290B)
- School & Child Care ($145B)
- State & Local Aid ($500.3B)
- Election Support ($400B)
- Broadband, Agriculture, USPS, & Census ($52B)
- Worker & Liability Protections
- Automatic Boosters & Reducers
- The full framework can found here.