Two new stimulus packages have been proposed, as lawmakers continue to push for second stimulus controls to help Americans cope with the coronavirus-led economic crisis. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell want to add incentives to the spending bill to be passed before the December 11 deadline.
Incentives can be added to the spending bill that is due this week
US lawmakers unveiled new stimulus proposals last week after months of negotiations without progress on a new coronavirus stimulus package or second stimulus controls for Americans.
Time is running out to approve a stimulus bill before the end of the year, when several key benefits of the first stimulus package expire. Lawmakers are also scheduled to begin their holiday recess on Dec. 18, and they must approve a spending bill by Dec. 11 to receive a government shutdown.
After failing to reach an agreement with the Minister of Finance Steven MnuchinHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now talking directly about incentive terms with Senate majority group leader Mitch McConnell.
Pelosi told reporters on Friday that she and McConnell had agreed to try to negotiate a deal that could be included in the spending bill to be passed by the Dec. 11 deadline. She believes there is “plenty of time” to close a deal before that date. Both President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden have urged Congress to now pass the next stimulus bill.
Two new stimulation proposals
A $ 908 billion dollar bipartisan stimulus package was unveiled last week by a group of GOP and Democratic senators expected to finalize the legislation over the weekend.
This incentive package includes $ 300 weekly federal unemployment benefits, $ 160 billion in state and local aid, an additional $ 288 billion for more help for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $ 45 billion for struggling airlines and public transportation systems, $ 25 billion for rent relief and $ 35 billion for health care. However, it does not provide for second stimulus controls for individuals.
Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement on Wednesday saying:
In the spirit of compromise, we believe that the bipartisan framework … should be used as a basis for immediate bipartisan, bicameral negotiations.
While top Democrats have embraced this $ 908 billion stimulus plan as the starting point for negotiations, McConnell indicated last week that he would not support this package and is pushing for his own smaller proposal.
However, Senator Bill Cassidy, one of the lawmakers who worked on the bipartisan framework, said on Sunday that both McConnell and Trump will eventually “get on board,” noting that President Trump has already indicated he would sign the $ 908 billion package. .
Meanwhile, McConnell has proposed another stimulus package of his own that is being negotiated behind closed doors that likely resembles the two $ 500 billion stimulus bills he previously proposed. His plan omits both second stimulus checks for Americans and the federal unemployment insurance increase of $ 600 a week.
McConnell tweeted on Wednesday:
I made another proposal that would invest billions of dollars in workers, Americans laid off, small businesses and the distribution of vaccines. I hope that soon the Democrats will finally give us a bipartisan outcome.
“We don’t have time for messaging games. We don’t have time for long negotiations. I hope this is something that can be signed into law by the president, done quickly, and get things settled on which we can now agree, ”he continued.
Mnuchin told reporters that “The president will sign McConnell’s proposal,” as he walked into a committee hearing on Wednesday on his department’s response to the pandemic.
Did Pelosi make a mistake rejecting the White House’s $ 1.8 trillion offer with second stimulus checks?
Pelosi has come under fire for rejecting a larger stimulus deal with direct payments to Americans, only to support a smaller package without second stimulus checks.
Ahead of the election, the White House offered her one $ 1.8 trillion stimulus package with second stimulus checks, which she declined and refused to put her $ 2.2 trillion at risk Heroes Act. The $ 908 billion package she now supports does not provide for another round of direct payments to Americans.
Pelosi insists her rejection of the $ 1.8 trillion offer was not a mistake. She said during her weekly press conference on Friday:
That was not a mistake, it was a decision … Now, the fact is, I’m very proud of where we are.
However, some of her colleagues disagree. Democratic Representative Ro Khanna told CNN on Friday that they should have taken the $ 1.8 trillion stimulus deal. Mnuchin said publicly at the time that if Pelosi accepted it, President Trump would squeeze McConnell and get the bill passed.
The house speaker attributed her decision to support the $ 908 billion stimulus package without second stimulus checks to Biden’s election and the imminent arrival of two vaccines, which she called “a total game-changer.” Pelosi said, “President-elect Biden has said that this package would be just a start at best. That’s how we see it too. “
Meanwhile, Biden said on Friday that he was “sure” an agreement was possible, stating:
It’s not going to please everyone, but the option is if you insist on everything, we probably won’t get anything on either side.
Lawmakers fighting to provide direct payments to Americans
The omission of second stimulus checks for individuals has caused quite a stir, with some lawmakers vowing not to back a bill without making direct payments to Americans.
Senator Bernie Sanders was among those dissatisfied with the new stimulus proposals. “I look forward to significantly improving this bill together with my colleagues in the House of Representatives and the Senate. But as it stands, I can’t support it, ”he said Friday. Sander affirmed that the omission of another round of $ 1,200 direct payments to Americans was “unacceptable”.
Representative Rashida Tlaib also opposes not providing a second round of incentive checks to individuals. She tweeted:
It is critical that we have another stimulus check. Direct payments help families in desperate need and boost our local economy.
Do you think Americans will get second stimulus checks anytime soon? Let us know in the comments below.
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