Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) wants to see Congress get through ongoing gridlock and pass the next round of coronavirus relief aid.
To move things forward, Rose joined the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus to announce a “March To Common Ground” plan, which they hope will encourage negotiators back to the table. The package also calls for action on key areas like COVID-19 testing, unemployment insurance, direct stimulus to individuals, housing, food security and child care among others.
“Having seen no progress on a new COVID-19 relief package in four months, and in recognition of Americans’ increasing suffering, the Problem Solvers Caucus has developed a comprehensive bipartisan framework to meet the nation’s needs for the next six to 12 months,” they wrote of their plan.
The plan includes funding for testing, unemployment benefits, and state and local aid. One major sticking point in previous negotiations has been over that aid for state and local governments, which are facing budget cuts and potential layoffs after tax revenues dropped due to the pandemic shutdown.
Rose’s office said the plan is designed with funding to help state and local governments for an entire year. Depending on how long the United States is still actively dealing with the pandemic, the plan has options to extend certain funding. For instance, the plan allocates about $100 billion in testing and healthcare, but if the United States gets the pandemic under control, funding will be slowly reduced.
“What we’re showing today is a deal is not only possible, but more importantly, a deal must be possible because failure is not an option,” Rose said in a statement.“This isn’t a game. This isn’t a red state or a blue state issue. This is an American issue and we must come together as Americans and get the job done: to give our state and local governments the aid they need to ensure our cops, firefighters, EMS, teachers and essential workers aren’t laid off; to provide our struggling businesses the lifeline they need to stay in business and keep employees on the payroll. We must come together to do the job we all know needs to be done.”
The Problem Solvers Caucus, of which Rose is a member, is a 50 member bipartisan caucus with an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Rose has been working to push forward substantive COVID-19 relief to help Americans. In recent weeks he has paid special attention to state and local governments because of concerns over cutbacks. Local level cutbacks could mean fewer first responders and fewer staffers to keep local governments up and running.