Bipartisan Group Offers to Split Coronavirus Proposal Into 2 Bills

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is splitting its $908 billion coronavirus relief proposal into two packages as it prepares to release text on Monday. 

The plan, confirmed by a source familiar with the talks, will include a $160 billion proposal that ties together the two most controversial elements: more money for state and local governments and protections against coronavirus-related lawsuits. 

The second proposal will equal $748 billion and include ideas that include another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding for small businesses, and unemployment benefits.

Splitting the bill could make it more likely that a relief package can be finalized before Congress leaves for the holidays.

The West Virginia Democrat noted that the bipartisan group of lawmakers and their staffs have been meeting regularly for the past month.

“The bottom line is there’s a lot of parts to this bill, and in the spirit of compromise, you have to work through all of that,” Manchin told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “But at the end, you can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

Also Sunday, a House Democratic leader suggested that the party may be willing to support a coronavirus relief package without aid to state and local governments.

Democrats view state and local money as a top priority, and the Senate GOP leader has long called including protections against coronavirus lawsuits a “red line.” 

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