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On Thursday night, the House approved a $2.2 trillion Democratic coronavirus stimulus package. It was despite the Trump administration and the Democrats’ inability to strike a deal.
The House okayed the legislation in a 214 to 207 vote with 18 Democrats voting against the plan. Meanwhile, legislators coming from competitive areas are still unsure of the ongoing standoff over the coronavirus package.
It will likely be a struggle for the bill to get through the Senate where Republicans hold the majority. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell disagreed with the legislation as the convention denounced spending more money on the federal relief response to the coronavirus pandemic.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Secretary Steven Mnuchin considered continued talks. The two disagreed on various issues, especially how much aid for each local government and state and a need to establish accountability protection for schools and businesses.
Before the vote, Pelosi undermined the talks with the Treasury Secretary this week, maybe the final chance to get more relief before the election. It is also uncertain whether the two camps agree as the Democrats want a coronavirus relief fund to support health care and the economy further.
Looking back, the House has failed many times to approve new plans for relief. To date, the U.S. has tens of thousands of new cases of coronavirus daily. All of the relief efforts ended many weeks ago; this included the $600 weekly unemployment benefit, suspension on evictions, and the Paycheck Protection Program application.
The new coronavirus response plan enacted by the Democrats will bring back the $600 weekly enhanced benefits for the unemployed until February. It will also send most Americans a second direct payment of $1,200, while $436 billion in relief aid will be provided to local governments and states for over a year.
The Democratic bill will also route more funds for a second application of the Paycheck Protection Program for the most affected industries and businesses. Furthermore, this aid will benefit the airline industry, education, and child care. COVID -19 efforts like contact tracing and testing will also receive $75 billion.
Secretary Mnuchin reduced the Democratic proposal to $1.6 trillion on Wednesday. NBC News reported that Mnuchin’s plan included $250 billion for local government and state, only $400 weekly unemployment support, $150 billion meant for education, and the same amount for testing and contact tracing for Covid-19. No provision for the airline industry and the Paycheck Protection Program was included.
Mnuchin also mentioned that he has repeatedly spoken to Pelosi in the previous days regarding the Covid-19 relief and agreed to continue their discussions regarding the controversial CARES Act. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Powell and some experts have predicted that the economy will suffer terribly unless a stimulus plan is approved. The department has announced that it will commit to zero interest rates for many years to “push up inflation.”