Problem Solvers Caucus Release Language on New COVID-19 Relief Package

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Late yesterday afternoon, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus released the long-awaited bill text for their $908 billion coronavirus relief package. The legislation  is a two-part stimulus plan: a $748 billion package focusing on areas of agreement and a separate $160 billion bill that includes the most controversial provisions for lawmakers — additional funding for state and local government and liability protections. It’s important to keep in mind that while many lawmakers see this bill as the most concrete and realistic compromise on COVID-19 relief we have seen in months, House and Republican leadership see it as a marker for broader negotiations and not a final vehicle for aid. Critics of this two-part approach, especially those that are pushing for state and local-directed aid, have pointed out that it defeats the purpose of negotiations to pass contested legislation when it’s not tied to the un-controversial provisions. 

Here is a breakdown of the distribution formula for state, local, and tribal assistance in the proposed Bipartisan State and Local Support and Small Business Protection Act of 2020: 

  • $152 billion in state and local aid through the Coronavirus Relief Fund 
    • 1/3rd would be distributed based on state population in proportion to the U.S. population. 
    • 2/3rd would be distributed based on the proportion of each state’s revenue loss relative to the total revenue losses of all U.S. states. 
  • Each state will receive at least $500 million.  
  • $8 million in funding for Tribes, allocated by 60% population and 40% based on the number of employees for each Tribal entity. 
  • Governors must distribute 40% of the state’s funding to local government but choose how from the following: 
    • Proportional population 
    • Proportional revenue loss 
    • Combination of both. 
  • There are no population thresholds, so every county and municipality would be eligible for funding regardless of size.  
  • Extend the deadline for spending CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) aid on COVID-related expenses through December 31, 2021.  
  • State funding would be distributed in three tranches.  
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