A bipartisan group of 50 centrist lawmakers is set to propose a compromise on a new stimulus bill after talks in Congress had stalled.
According to the New York Times
, the proposal would include the following elements:
The proposal also includes additional support for Coronavirus testing and other public health initiatives, as well as additional funding for schools and the U.S. Postal Service.
Not included in the proposal is any further student loan relief, following President Trump’s extension of the CARES Act’s suspension of federal student loan payments and interest through December 31. Consumer advocacy groups had previously criticized the President’s executive action on student loans as insufficient, calling for more widespread relief that covers all student loans (the CARES Act limits relief to only government-held student loans), as well as broad student loan forgiveness.
The total cost of the bill — $1.5 trillion — is roughly halfway between the $3 trillion proposal offered by House Democrats, and the most recent $500 billion proposal by Senate Republicans.
The latest effort to find a compromise follows the collapse of Congressional negotiations for a new stimulus bill. House Democrats passed the HEROES Act in May, largely on a party-line vote, which would have continued enhanced unemployment benefits of $600 per week, and provided more robust financial assistance to states, cities, and hospitals. The HEROES Act would have also extended the CARES Act’s student loan payment and interest suspension to September 30, 2021 (a full 12 months), and it would have expanded those protections to include commercially-issued FFEL-program federal student loans and Perkins loans. Notably, the bill would also have provided $10,000 in federal and private student loan forgiveness to borrowers experiencing economic distress.
Republicans rejected the HEROES Act, and instead offered several smaller stimulus bills with substantially reduced unemployment benefits, no direct payments to taxpayers, and no meaningful additional student loan relief. None of the Republican bills have been able to pass Congress, either.
It is unclear whether this latest compromise stimulus proposal has any chance of passing either the Democratic-controlled House, or the Republican-controlled Senate. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated an openness to trying, privately telling lawmakers that the House will remain in session.
I’m an attorney with a unique practice devoted entirely to helping student loan borrowers. I provide counsel, legal assistance, and direct advocacy for borrowers on a
I’m an attorney with a unique practice devoted entirely to helping student loan borrowers. I provide counsel, legal assistance, and direct advocacy for borrowers on a variety of student loan-related matters including repayment management, default resolution, and servicing troubleshooting. I have been interviewed by major national media outlets including The New York Times, NPR, and The Washington Post, and I’ve been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer “Rising Star” every year since 2015. I regularly present to companies, schools, and professional associations about the latest developments in higher education financing, and I’ve published three handbooks to help student loan borrowers manage their debt. I’m also a contributing author to the National Consumer Law Center’s manual, Student Loan Law, as well as various law review articles. I received my undergraduate degree, with honors, in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University, and my law degree from Northeastern University School of Law.