Congressional leaders are nearing a second coronavirus bailout package that includes direct stimulus payments and $ 300 unemployment benefits.
However, the bill does not provide liability protection or assistance to state and local governments, according to CNBC. Disagreements on these two issues have continued and the legislature has put these aside to prepare a bill.
"We have made great strides in devising a targeted pandemic relief package that can pass both houses with a bipartisan majority," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Said in the Senate on Wednesday.
In addition to a second stimulus payment and federal unemployment benefit, the package would also include $ 300 billion in aid to small businesses, including the paycheck protection program. Funding would also be allocated for testing, vaccine distribution, and relief to hospitals.
The Hill says Senate and House leaders want to attach the package to the $ 1.4 trillion spending bill currently being negotiated. Tying the two together increases the likelihood of passing the stimulus calculation. Congress must reach an agreement on the spending bill to avoid a government shutdown from Saturday.
Republican whip of the Senate John Thune, who is also a member of the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters Wednesday that the federal weekly unemployment benefit will be $ 300 and the economy will be between $ 600 and $ 700. Both are Hundreds less than the first round, but with Americans heading into month four with little to no government aid, the news should be positively received.
If Democrats John Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock win their Senate runoff on January 5th, it will be much easier to negotiate and, if necessary, pass a third package.
If the bill is passed and incorporated into law by President Trump, it would be a win for Republicans and a loss for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In August, Republicans wanted to keep the second incentive below $ 1 trillion, but Pelosi drew a line in the sand saying the next package will be worth at least $ 2.2 trillion or nothing.
Charles Schumer, Chairman of the Senate Minority (D-N.Y.), Said an agreement was near but warned Americans not to celebrate too early, saying, "It's not a deal yet, but we're very close."
Democrats have always been about giving the American people the relief they need for so many Americans in times of acute national crisis and emergency, ”he said. "It was about providing a lifeline to Americans who were released through no fault of their own."