A trillion and a half should do it.
Twenty-five Democrats and 25 Republicans in the House of Representatives — also known as the Problem Solvers Caucus — devised a $1.5 trillion novel coronavirus relief package within the past week.
The caucus — its name and its ability to compromise is encouraging — is attempting to resolve an impasse between the two parties. In May, Democrats proposed a $3 trillion HEROES Act. Republicans recently suggested $300 billion, a number that appears small by comparison, but is a big figure.
The caucus’ package would allow for $1,200 stimulus checks, expand federal unemployment aid to $450 per week until states could adopt a system to provide up to $600 weekly as long as it didn’t exceed a worker’s former salary, reopen the Paycheck Protection Program and provide state and local government funding for COVID-19 relief.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — the member entrusted with leadership — won’t settle for less than $2.2 trillion.
As a result, Americans aren’t receiving the temporary relief in an economic crisis. Pelosi holds her line as if this is the last bill she will ever negotiate. Perhaps it is, she has an election in a few weeks. But, her stance, no doubt in upperclass comfort, is creating strain and pain for other Americans.
That’s not leadership. Leadership is the Problem Solvers Caucus.