Graham Urges Senators to Consider House Problem-Solvers Bipartisan Relief Package

October 7, 2020 Updated: October 7, 2020

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) urged fellow senators and President Donald Trump to consider passing the Problem-Solvers bipartisan relief package after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the White House have not been able to reach an agreement on what economic relief should look like for the nation.

“Strongly recommend all my colleagues and President @realdonaldTrump look at the House Problem-Solvers bipartisan 1.5. trillion-dollar stimulus relief package. It. Has many good things for individuals and businesses,” Graham wrote on Wednesday.

In mid-September, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC) unveiled its “March To Common Ground,” outlining a relief package in an effort to end the gridlock on the latest COVID-19 relief package and encourage negotiators to get back to the table.

The Problem Solvers Caucus includes 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans who say they must put political interests aside to work for the nation’s best interests. They said that the priorities in their package should be seriously considered.

“Our framework reflects months of bipartisan consensus-building on the actions the federal government can take to help working families and local communities across the country as they navigate the impacts of COVID-19. We are hopeful this package will help bring lead negotiations back to the table as we try to solve this problem for the American people,” said PSC Co-Chair Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) in a statement.

Mnuchin and Pelosi
(L): Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Sept. 1, 2020. (Nicholas Kamm-Pool/Getty Images); (R): Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks to reporters at her weekly press conference at the Capitol in Washington, on Aug. 22, 2020. (Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)

Pelosi and the White House, which includes chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have been trying to negotiate a relief package since May.

“I say we’re going to give it one more serious try to get this done and I think we’re hopeful that we can get something done,” Mnuchin said during a televised interview Sept. 30. “I think there is a reasonable compromise here.”

House Democrats have been trying to get an agreement with Republicans for their $2.2. trillion HEROES Act. Mnuchin said he would counter her offer with a measure that resembles the $1.5 trillion House Problem Solvers caucus proposal.

It was reported that Pelosi and Mnuchin tried via phone to reach a deal as recently as Tuesday, but failed.

Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’s request for comment.

Trump on Tuesday told Republicans to stop trying to negotiate with Pelosi on the relief package, suggesting she is not sincere about compromise.

“Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bail out poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their request and looking to the future of our country,” he wrote on Twitter.

The president also told Pelosi via Twitter that he would sign stand-alone relief for airlines and another round of stimulus checks for families. But Pelosi has accused Trump of not caring enough for American families and workers to provide the over $2 trillion in the Democrats’ Heroes Act.

Meanwhile, the Problem-solver Caucus’s package focuses on key areas of concern for both Democrats and GOP some of which include Testing & Healthcare ($100 billion), Direct Assistance to Individuals & Families ($316 billion), Unemployment Assistance ($120 billion), Small Business & Non-profit Support ($290 billion), School & Child Care ($145 billion), State & Local Aid ($500 billion), Election Support ($400 billion), Broadband, Agriculture, and USPS, & Census ($52 billion).

Some Republicans have said the PSC relief package is too expensive and Democrats said it did not go far enough to address the needs of the American people.

Meadows said the PSC relief proposal deserves consideration even though the priorities outlined in it differed from the president’s.

“It’s a very thoughtful proposal. It certainly doesn’t align with a view of the priorities that the president has,” Meadows told Reuters in September.

The group of congress members told leaders to get back to negotiating the much need relief, in a written statement Tuesday.

“We cannot overstate how important it is that leaders in both parties—along with the President—return to the table and agree on a package that will provide immediate relief to families and businesses. Inaction is not an option,” wrote the lawmakers.