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Karl W. Smith

Congress’s Last Chance to Avoid a Long Recession

A bipartisan pandemic relief plan isn’t perfect but could break a congressional logjam.

Looking for a way forward.

Looking for a way forward.

Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg

In sharp contrast to its impressive performance with the CARES Act, which was passed in less than two weeks, Congress’s attempt at a second major pandemic relief bill has been a rolling disaster for nearly two months. To prevent a lasting recession from taking hold, Congress needs to find a compromise.

The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in the House laid out just such a blueprint on Tuesday. It’s not perfect. It won’t satisfy Democratic demands for huge state and local aid, or placate the Republican desire to cut costs. It might, however, be enough to keep the economy growing through the end of the year and give the U.S. a shot at avoiding another decade of labor-market pain.