The pressure is on for Congress to approve another stimulus relief bill this year — and maybe a, too — either through a series of stand-alone legislation or a large comprehensive package. The continues to buffet and . More than 219,000 people in the US have died from COVID-19 and there are more than 8 million known cases in the US.
President Donald Trump has stopping negotiations and then saying that he wants lawmakers to go “big” on a $1.8 trillion package presented on Oct. 9. The White House’s proposal includes funding for another for , along with a renewal of payroll assistance for the airlines and other industries.— despite first tweeting support for
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have spoken daily and they say they’re making progress on language, funding and other details in the bill. On Saturday, Pelosi gave the White house a 48-hour deadline to reach an agreement on a stimulus package before the Nov. 3 election, which is just 15 days away.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pushed back and said Republicans in the Senate wouldn’t approve an increase in funding. On Tuesday, McConnell is preparing to bring a $500 billion stand-alone bill in support of the Paycheck Protection Program to a vote. The next day, the Senate will vote again on its $500 billion “skinny” bill from September, which didn’t pass and was blocked by Democrats. Neither smaller bill would includeand both are unlikely to clear the House of Representatives.
Find the situation confusing? You’re not alone. We’ll help you understand exactly which provisions could be included in a stand-alone bill or a larger stimulus package — one that would either squeak by in the scant weeks before theor perhaps return to the drawing board after the election. This story updates often.
What exactly is included in the two Senate bills?
The Senate’s Oct. 20 PPP bill: This $500 billion effort will focus on the Paycheck Protection Program that was part of this spring’s CARES Act and provided forgivable loans to small businesses as an incentive to keep employees on the payroll. This bill doesn’t include funding for another round of stimulus checks.
“Skinny” bill revote: On Oct. 21, the Senate will vote again on a $500 billion package that includes a $300 enhanced unemployment benefit and aid for small businesses, funding for school reopenings, and support for the US Postal Service. It also has limited liability protection for employers and health care workers, which sets limits on who can sue if they contract COVID-19. It won’t include a stimulus check for individuals.
Other stand-alone stimulus bill proposals we have known
immediately. Another is one of the areas that everyone — both Republicans and Democrats — appear to agree on.: On Oct. 6, , Trump said he’d sign a bill authorizing
Airline assistance: With the airline industry hit hard by the coronavirus-induced stand-alone legislation. “Let me just be really clear,” Pelosi said Oct. 8. “I have been very open to having a stand-alone bill for the airlines.” The House earlier passed a $28.8 billion airline support bill that Pelosi suggested could be the starting point for legislation.and starting to furlough workers, negotiators have tagged airline assistance for
Support for the US Postal Service: This summer, the House passed a bill that would address concerns about the service and the upcoming election and provide $25 billion in additional funding. The Senate didn’t take up the bill.
Everything in the White House’s $1.8 trillion stimulus bill
For months, Pelosi and Mnuchin have been meeting to discuss the size and approach of the next economic relief bill. Negotiating every day for the last week, the two are coming closer to reaching an agreement.
According to The Washington Post, Mnuchin’s current offer stands at $1.8 trillion and includes:
: Stimulus checks for and $1,000 for (the CARES Act ).
Unemployment benefits: The proposal sets enhanced unemployment benefits at $400 a week (down from the $600 included in the CARES Act but up from thethis summer through executive action).
Funding for coronavirus testing and tracing: Earlier this week, Mnuchin ceded ground on this previous blocker, saying the White House would include money for coronavirus testing and tracing into its stimulus offer.
State and local funding: A big sticking point, the proposal includes $300 billion for cities and states, up from $250 billion in an earlier proposal.
Everything in the Democrats’ $2.2 trillion stimulus bill
Pelosi continues to point to the updated version of The Heroes Act (PDF) as the basis for a new bill. The Houselargely along party lines. The new Heroes Act includes:
Direct payments: The current Democratic proposal includes payments of up to $1,200 per individual and $500 for each dependent.
Payroll support for small businesses and airline workers: The Democratic plan would refund payroll protections and extend the program to airline workers.
Unemployment benefits: The plan would reauthorize $600 federal unemployment payments, through January 2021.
State and local funding: The bill would provide assistance to state and local governments to pay essential workers, including first responders and health workers.
Housing assistance: The proposal would renew financial support for renters and homeowners to meet rental and mortgage payments.
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