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Susan Collins, Angus King Unveil Bills Providing $908 Billion In Pandemic Relief

Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King are among a group of House and Senate members pushing a two-part pandemic relief package they hope will break a deadlock in Congress.

The two parts add up to $908 billion. The most contentious provisions would limit COVID-related lawsuits aimed at businesses and dedicate $160 billion in relief for state and local governments. Collins says the two proposals represent a compromise.

“These bills are comprehensive, but they don’t cover everything that everyone would want,” she says.

The second bill has broader support and would provide $748 billion in relief by providing another round of the Paycheck Protection Program assistance for small businesses and additional unemployment benefits, as well as more money for schools, vaccine distribution and other popular programs. Congressional leaders have yet to weigh in on the proposal.

“This is a Christmas gift for the American people and I sincerely hope our colleagues in the Senate and the House and the White House will seize upon it, execute the work that is necessary to finalize the package,” King says.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.