Congress returned from recess on September 8, the day after Labor Day. As expected, Mitch McConnell released a new coronavirus stimulus bill upon the Senate’s return. As predicted, the relief bill neglected senior Americans and did not mention a single aid for Medicare beneficiaries. But here is what McConnell and Republicans did include in the package. Don’t get too excited! There is not another round of stimulus checks coming either.
McConnell and Senate Republicans unveil new bill
On Tuesday, McConnell said of the bill: “Today, the Senate Republican majority is introducing a new targeted proposal, focused on some of the very most urgent healthcare, education, and economic issues. It does not contain every idea our party likes. I am confident Democrats will feel the same.”
The new package would spend around $500 billion in federal aid. Here’s what it includes:
- $300 per week in unemployment benefits (through December 27, 2020)
- $258 billion in Paycheck Protection Program funds to small businesses
- $105 billion for schools and colleges
- Mitch McConnell’s liability protection plan to protect businesses against coronavirus-related lawsuits
- $16 billion for coronavirus testing and contact tracing
- Support for daycare providers
- Forgives a Treasury Department loan to the U.S. Postal Service
There are no new $1,200 stimulus checks in the bill. It is unlikely that the Senate will come to an agreement on this new “targeted” bill, which is to be voted on this week. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer already called the bill “emaciated”, saying that it does not address the crisis at hand, nor meet the needs of Americans at this time. Among other things, the Democrats want more funding for state and local governments.
Senate Republicans’ relief bill
In contrast to the Democrats’ $3.4 trillion stimulus bill, which did include aid for those on Medicare and Social Security, the Senate Republicans’ new “skinny” bill does not include another stimulus check at all.
Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso (Wyo.) said a previous version of the bill “leaves out… the so many things that Pelosi has put in her bill that are unrelated to coronavirus.”
What happens next?
The Senate will vote on the bill this Thursday, but that vote is tricky since Senate Democrats want more funding for state and local governments included. If it passes the Senate, the House would have to approve it in order for it to reach President Trump’s desk.
Over the summer, Nancy Pelosi offered to meet the Republicans halfway on a new plan, however a compromise does not seem to be happening. It seems unlikely that the House and Senate will reach an agreement before election day. Follow us on facebook and let us know your concerns and thoughts.