While Congress scrambles to pass yet another huge relief package as a result of the coronavirus shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laid out some of the details on the Senate floor. Calling the bill “historic,” he said the focus will be on jobs, healthcare, children in schools, and liability protections. $105 billion will be given to schools, even though it is still unclear if these schools plan to open in the fall.
The bill will also given money to small businesses. McConnell said, “The American job market needs another shot of adrenaline. Senate Republicans are laser-focused on getting American workers their jobs back.”
This type of government stimulus package goes against many Republicans fiscal principles, and many lawmakers want to ensure that the bill includes tax cuts and credits that provide incentives for people to get back to work, instead of government handouts as state and local governments choose to continue to keep their economies closed. McConnell said there will be another round of the Paycheck Protection Program loans, but also money reimbursements for companies that have to adhere to the necessary safety requirements to reopen to keep their employees and customers safe from the Coronavirus. The bill will also bring another round of stimulus checks.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to bill to include more unemployment checks (the $600 per week unemployment checks expire August 1, as well as give more money to state and local governments. McConnell, however, said there is nothing in the Senate bill the Democrats wouldn’t support. The Democrats passed a $3 trillion dollar relief package, which quickly died in the Senate. This is the second stimulus package that will pass since the beginning of the Coronavirus.
The reopening of the country is still uncertain, as states like California have stepped back and closed down much of their economy again. New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has threatened restaurants and bars that he will shut them down if they do not adhere to social distancing rules. As businesses and families hold onto what they can during a tumultuous time, the government plans to pass another relief bill that will add the the nation’s debt.