‘Problem Solvers’ show what a real COVID-19-relief compromise looks like

In a crisis, statesmen find a way to compromise. Can the Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress manage that?

The 50-member bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus is offering a $1.5 trillion bill to end the latest impasse over coronavirus relief, to deliver the aid that both sides agree is needed.

The measure, titled “March To Common Ground,” includes:  $100 billion for COVID-19 testing and health care; $316 billion in direct payments to individuals and families;  $120 billion in enhanced unemployment benefits;  $290 billion for small businesses, plus hundreds of billions more for schools and securing this fall’s elections.

It also does more than we think is wise to reward fiscally imprudent states, with $500 billion for state and local governments. But that’s half the amount Democratic leaders are demanding to let any aid at all proceed.

If Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer really think it’s worth denying much-needed help to regular Americans simply get more cash for spendthrift states like New York and California, they should say so.

Similarly, if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks the help isn’t worth the price of bribing Pelosi and Schumer with taxpayers’ money, he should state that outright.

At least the centrist caucus — led by New York’s own Republican Rep. Tom Reed and New Jersey Democrat Rep. Josh Gottheimer — is forcing both sides to level with the public about their true priorities.

New York Post

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