This article was updated on October 2, 2020.
The House passed a $2.2 trillion Democratic coronavirus stimulus plan on Thursday night even as Democrats and the Trump administration struggle to strike a relief deal.
The chamber approved the legislation in a 214-207 vote. Eighteen Democrats voted against the measure as lawmakers in competitive districts grow weary of the ongoing impasse over aid.
Unfortunately, experts say that is highly unlikely that the bill will get through Republican-held Senate and become law. This reason lies heavily on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell has opposed the legislation since the beginning, promising that there will not be another stimulus check. He also has led the Republican resistance to spend trillions more on the federal response to aid the American people during the pandemic-fueled economic crisis.
Reminder: the Democratic bill would:
- Reinstate the $600 per week enhanced unemployment benefit through January
- Send a second $1,200 direct payment to most Americans
- Give $436 billion in relief over one year to state and local governments
- Authorize more money for a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans for the hardest-hit businesses and industries
- Send $25 billion to airlines to cover payroll costs
- Inject $75 billion into Covid-19 testing and contact tracing efforts
- Put $225 billion into education and $57 billion into child care
- Set aside billions for rental and mortgage assistance
Americans were surprised and upset when Congress went on recess without coming to an agreement on the next stimulus package to help Americans in need. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are striving to come up with a compromise to get the deal done.
As reported by CNBC, many people who are out of work bristle at the suggestion that they are not getting jobs because unemployment pays them too much. In addition, many who have applied for unemployment are doing so for the first time ever, which is a blow to their pride and not something they ever thought they would have to do.
“I cringe at the mention that they are paying me more to stay home than work,” wrote Troy Wilson to CNBC Make It. “I pray that they in Congress are never faced with the tribulations they have placed all of us in and never experience the demeaning attacks I am now enduring.”
Cara Fry told CNBC Make It, “It cracks me up when people say that we make too much on unemployment and it will keep people from getting a job. There aren’t any jobs.”
Pelosi wants to get the deal done now
This week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she was willing to cut the bill in half in order to get the bill done now, meaning meeting the Republicans halfway. She says when Congress reconvenes after the election in January, they can tackle the rest of what they wanted to accomplish in their bill.
Pelosi wants to make the decision now, not at the end of September, when it will be time to decide on a budget for the next fiscal year.
On Saturday, the House will reconvene to pass a bill to help fund the U.S. Postal Service.
Democrats and Republicans are seeking to reach a compromise on a stimulus package, while they are about $2 trillion apart on the funding they want to approve, with notable differences in the areas of school funding, aid to state and local governments, and enhanced unemployment benefits.
More than 100 Democrats wrote a letter to Pelosi urging her to sign a bill to reinstate the $600 weekly unemployment benefit this weekend as well, since the government lifelines put in place have all expired. The letter was led by Reps. Scott Peters of California, Don Beyer of Virginia, and Derek Kilmer of Washington. The bill would restart the weekly payments, then phase them out as unemployment rates fall.