WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today and the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus – a group of 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats - unveiled the “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.
“American families still need help, and Congress needs to step up,” Upton said. “I’ve talked to a number of constituents in just the last few days. Too many folks are still really struggling. They need help, and our plan delivers for them. This framework is something both parties can get behind, would be signed by the President, and would deliver immediate help to those in the most need.”
Upton and the 50-member bipartisan Caucus, led by Co-Chairs Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Tom Reed (R-NY), developed and came together in support of the framework after extensive listening to constituents and outreach to stakeholders over the past six weeks.
The package addresses 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.
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.