While most of the economy and normal life remain shut down across the United States, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to pass a $1 trillion dollar package to help Americans who are suffering due to the Coronavirus. This shocking number is supposed to supplement economic growth, without the worry of how America will pay back their increasing amount of debt from gross government spending.
Two thirds of Americans say they need a stimulus check to make ends meet, as jobs have been furloughed and businesses have been forced to remain closed months after the pandemic began. The bill will focus on giving small businesses more loans by supplementing revenue loss, and provide some aid to unemployment payments. Liability protection will be provided to restaurants, hotels, hospitals, school districts, and universities. Furthermore, there will be funding for more testing and for vaccine research plus development.
On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows are set to brief Senate Republicans at their weekly meeting on their coronavirus relief bill. This bill is in response to the House Democrat’s bill, which had a price tag of $3 trillion. The Republican bill is focused on providing incentives to get people back to work through tax cuts. Mnuchin told reporters, “We’re going to make sure that we don’t pay people more money to stay at home than go to work.” The $600 per week unemployment payment “plus-up” will expire by the end of the month. The Democrats, however, want unemployment benefits to continue at the same rate. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer already made his view on the matter clear, saying, “Unfortunately, by all accounts the Senate Republicans are drafting legislation that comes up short in a number of vital areas, such as extending unemployment benefits or funding for rental assistance, hazard premium pay for frontline workers, or investments in communities of color being ravaged by the virus, and many other necessary provisions,”
Mnuchin said the bill will focus on “kids and jobs and vaccines,” and wants the bill to pass both chambers by the end of the month. If the bill does not pass, lawmakers will not be back until September.
The CARES Act, which provided $2 trillion in aid, was apparently not enough. Both of these relief packages don’t cover the spending bill that will have to pass to avoid a government shutdown in September, which will be another trillion.