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Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.

Timing: The framework drops hours before Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plan to discuss coronavirus relief — their first talks since October.

The big picture: Most lawmakers still see only a small chance for passage of a comprehensive relief package before the end of the year, given how far apart Republicans and Democrats remain on key priorities.

  • President-elect Joe Biden has said that he wants Congress to pass coronavirus relief before he takes office in January.
  • Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday McConnell said he has been talking to House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, Mnuchin and chief of staff Mark Meadows about a COVID relief bill that could gain Trump's support.

Breakdown of the proposed funding:

  • State and local: $160 billion
  • Additional unemployment insurance: $180 billion
  • Small business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), EIDL and restaurants: $288 billion
  • Transportation: $45 billion
  • Vaccine development, distribution and testing: $16 billion
  • Healthcare provider relief fund: $35 billion
  • Education: $82 billion
  • Student loans: $4 billion
  • Housing assistance: $25 billion
  • Nutrition/Agriculture: $26 billion
  • U.S. Postal Service: $10 billion
  • Child care: $10 billion
  • Broadband: $10 billion
  • Opioid treatment: $5 billion

The plan also provides short-term federal protection from coronavirus-related lawsuits.

Read the framework via DocumentCloud.

This post has been updated with comments from Mitch McConnell.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Jan 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

Where global investment is flowing

Data: UNCTAD; Chart: Axios Visuals

Cross-border investment fell off a cliff in 2020, dropping 42% to $859 billion from 2019's $1.5 trillion, according to official UN figures.

By the numbers: Developed countries saw a 69% reduction in inflows.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.