The leaders of the House Problem Solvers Caucus Friday expressed optimism that Republicans and Democrats will soon come together on a major coronavirus deal to continue supplemental unemployment benefits, help struggling small businesses and fund the reopening of schools.
Negotiators are under pressure to act due to Friday's expiration of $600-per-week federal unemployment benefits, schools needing help to reopen this month and lawmakers wanting to preserve their August recess.
Reed said he's confident the White House and House and Senate negotiators will find a middle ground between the House's $3 trillion bill that passed in May and the Senate GOP's $1 trillion proposal that was unveiled this week.
While there are many differences between the House Democrats' bill and the Republican plan, Reed and Gottheimer say they should find bipartisan agreement on funding for state and local governments, additional small business loan support, another round of direct stimulus payments, restoring some level of supplemental unemployment benefits and helping equip schools and campuses to safely reopen.
Reed predicts Democrats and Republicans will find a cost compromise, in part, by reprogramming some of the unused money from the $150 billion coronavirus relief fund for state and local governments and the $659 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses.