50 centrist lawmakers, part of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus, unveiled a $1.5 trillion plan in response to stalled negotiations over COVID-19 aid. The plan, called the “March to Common Ground” COVID stimulus framework, was designed to address the areas of testing, unemployment insurance, direct stimulus, worker and liability protection, small business and non-profit support, food security, schools and child care, housing, election support, and state and local aid. According to a press release, “the framework is designed for a six month horizon and through the next inauguration, except for state and local funding which extends for a full year.”
Several key GCP priorities are included in the framework, including:
- $240 billion for Paycheck Protection Program loans that have flexible use and simplified forgiveness processes
- Including $11 billion for CDFIs and $17 billion for small and community banks
- $15 billion for flexible and immediate support for childcare providers and $100 billion for virtual, hybrid, and in-person K-12 schooling
- $12 billion for broadband hot spots in underserved communities
- Protections for businesses which follow enhanced OSHA guidelines
Beyond these priorities, GCP advocated for a PPP set-aside for entities employing 10 or fewer employees, expanded eligibility for PPP, funding for E-Rate support to enhance the digital classroom, and a monthly benefit for broadband services for households and businesses that meet certain eligibility criteria (which could bolster resources for broadband adoption in Cleveland). In addition, GCP and our region believe providing a long-term or permanent extension of the New Markets Tax Credit program should be included in any future relief/stimulus package. Increasing this program’s allocations to accelerate economic recovery is critical.
GCP continues to advocate that these priorities be included in any potential stimulus package.