WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Republican senators are scrambling to come up with their version of the next coronavirus relief plan.
“I hope we get it done before the August break because people need it out there,” Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) said.
Perdue says he wants to make sure the next round of funding is targeted to those who need it. Congress passed the first COVID-aid bill back in March, helping those out of work or unable to pay rent due to the pandemic. But many of those federal provisions expire in just a few days.
“We’ve gotta do some things in Congress, I hope, in this next package that will help keep us from going off that housing cliff,” Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) said.
Jones is pushing his Senate colleagues to take up the coronavirus package the House already passed two months ago.
The $3 trillion HEROES Act promises six more months of unemployment benefits, plus rental assistance and mortgage relief.
Senate Republicans want their own plan with a much lower price tag. They were expected to release the proposal Thursday morning but then held back.
Democratic leaders House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized Republicans for waiting too long to take action.
“The Republican disarray and dithering has serious, potentially-deadly consequences for tens of millions of Americans,” Schumer (D-NY) said.
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) rejects that idea.
“I heard Senator Schumer say we’re in disarray, we’re not. What we’re trying to do is come up with a good balanced strategy,” Tillis said.
Republicans are working with the White House to get a bill President Donald Trump will support.