Senate Republicans on Monday unveiled their proposal to stimulate the US economy as it continues to reel from the COVID-19 pandemic, outlining its plan after some states stopped paying out the expanded $600-per-week unemployment insurance payments. Republicans want to slash it to $200 a week, saying that the federal bump is too generous on top of state benefits and is discouraging employees from returning to work.
With the virus death toll climbing and 4.2 million infections nationwide, both parties are eager for a deal.
More funding for personal protective equipment to help first responders avoid infection from COVID-19. Voters are assessing their handling of the virus crisis before the November election, and President Donald Trump's standing is at one of the lowest points of his term, according to a new AP-NORC poll.
The Republican initiative includes close to $2 billion for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to purchase personal protective equipment and boost the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, a White House priority.
Senate Republicans proposing to cut the incomes of 30 million+ unemployed Americans and their families by $1,600 per month in the middle of a pandemic.More news: Ontario reports another dip in new coronavirus cases
Trump administration officials offered a major stimulus check update over the weekend, promising among other things to unveil a new coronavirus relief bill on Monday that includes funding for a new round of $1,200 stimulus checks. That provision is a central pillar of the $3 trillion HEROES Act.
There will also be $20 billion in assistance to farmers and ranchers, as well as $30 billion to bolster the USA defense industrial base.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) gives loans to small businesses in order to keep workersemployed who would have otherwise lost their jobs.
The framework is expected to extend - but reduce substantially - just-expired expanded unemployment benefits, send a fresh round of $1,200 stimulus checks to American adults earning less than $75,000 in August and funnel tens of billions of dollars in aid to schools and universities.
It also includes a marque issue for Republicans in this stimulus bill: new legal protections against lawsuits for businesses related to the pandemic. Trump's hotel is across the street from it on Pennsylvania Avenue. People who make more than $100,000 won't qualify for a stimulus check.
But Democrats said it was insufficient, and conservative Republicans quickly broke ranks on McConnell's plan, arguing the spending was too much and priorities misplaced.
"The focus of this legislation is wrong", Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, one of the bill's most vocal opponents, told reporters at the Capitol.More news: RB Mostert, 49ers agree to new deal
As bipartisan talks unfold, the White House is now suggesting a narrower relief package may be all that's possible with Friday's approaching deadlines.
"It's good that they called it skinny because that's what you get when you don't have enough to eat", Pelosi said, decrying the lack of food stamp money in the GOP plan. "What the heck is going on?"
The $600 weekly jobless benefits boost, approved as part of the March aid package, officially expires July 31, but because of the way states process unemployment payments, the cutoff was effectively Saturday.
"Senate Republicans want to cut unemployment benefits for 30 million Americans by $400 a week".
Republicans will push for a two-month transition period for state agencies, The Washington Post first reported. "With unemployment still firmly in double digits and seemingly set to go higher regardless of what lawmakers do now, this would seem a poor policy choice".
The steep benefit reduction would also cost the USA more than three million jobs over the next year, according to the Economic Policy Institute. "The reason we had $600 was its simplicity", she said from the Capitol.More news: Wiley under police investigation for antisemitic Twitter rant