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House Democrats chop roughly $1 trillion from the previous pandemic aid proposal as an attempt to proceed with talks with the Trump administration on Thursday. The smaller $2.4 trillion-worth coronavirus relief package would serve as a scaled-back version to put an end to the nearly two months of stalemate negotiations.
The proposed bill would cover enhanced unemployment insurance, small-business loan funding of the Paycheck Protection Program, aid to airlines, and direct payments to Americans. Although Republicans and Democrats clearly expressed hopes for months to reach a new deal, both parties are still far apart on issues like weekly unemployment assistance rates and aid to states and cities.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi motioned to formulate a proposal that primarily aligned with the topline $2.2 trillion, held for several weeks. However, the Trump administration stated its willingness to consider the relief plan around $1.5 trillion – implying that even the scaled-back Democratic proposal will exceed up to the high-end of Republicans.
Aiming to restart stimulus negotiations with the White House after failed talks last month, Pelosi repeatedly nudged Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to increase the administration’s offer by another trillion dollars. Republicans are still skeptical about an extensive new round of deficit spending, expressing more confidence regarding economic recovery.
“We’ve agreed to continue to have discussions.”Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Republicans affirmed that the chances of a deal before Election Day are still slim.
Meanwhile, Pelosi and her Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of the New York Democrat, have been publicly and privately stressing for weeks the unity of Democrats as crucial in adjusting the top-gap government funding bill. Before noting the resolution about the unified caucus position, Pelosi emphasized the needs emerging for small businesses, education, retail, restaurants, airlines, and more.
“Our unity served us well yesterday. Our unity will again serve us well in the ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts.”House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Even after a supplemental unemployment benefit of $600 per week, Democrats and Republicans have yet to agree to more funds in aiding health and economic damage during the crisis, where the window for PPP loan applications and a federal moratorium on evictions became void. The hope for more legislation is gradually decreasing in the past weeks as Republicans become tired of spending and election-year politics that taints the process.