$908B relief package proposed by bipartisan group of senators

Relief aid earmarked for small businesses, unemployment insurance

December 01, 2020


Progress has been made on a bipartisan proposal made by a group of senators to provide $900 billion to relieve financial burdens. New Hampshire's senators told News 9 that they will not leave Washington for Christmas break until something gets passed.

Standing as a unified front, lawmakers unveiled the groundwork for a $908 billion stimulus bill which would be the first relief package in months.

"It may not be as much as some of us would have liked," Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said. "But, I think it's important as an emergency package to get people through the worst of this winter."

Included in the proposal is $160 billion to cover coronavirus costs incurred by local and state governments, $180 billion for unemployment insurance, $25 billion in housing assistance and $288 billion earmarked for small businesses in the Paycheck Protection Program.

The later, a sticking point for Shaheen who sat at the negotiating table for two weeks.

"Those of us who were negotiating this bipartisan framework heard what I heard as I traveled around New Hampshire and that is, people are hurting," Shaheen said. "Small businesses are wondering how they’re going to get through the winter."

There is no time frame for congress to vote on the proposal, it is why Shaheen and Sen. Maggie Hassan asked the public for help in getting the word out.

"Reach out to friends and family, not only in New Hampshire, but in other states too," Hassan said. "So, they can call their members of Congress who might not be on board with this idea yet and really urge people to get this done."

Congress has roughly three weeks remaining before Christmas break. Hassan said that will not be an issue.

"A number of us spoke this morning about this morning and said we shouldn’t go home until something gets done here," Hassan said. "That’s what I hope to emphasize. We really need to get this done."

By:  Mike Cherry
Source: WMUR