President Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan vs. Senate Republicans’ counter-proposal

Coronavirus Stimulus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Joe Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion package to fight the coronavirus and help those affected by it. A group of 10 Senate Republicans has proposed a smaller $600 billion package. Biden met late Monday with Republicans to hear their pitch for the smaller, more targeted package.

Here is how the two plans compare:

Public health

Biden’s plan calls for a national vaccination program, more rapid testing and additional medical equipment. It also would hire 100,000 new public health workers to help with contact tracing and vaccine outreach.

Cost: $160 billion

The Republican plan would also set up a national vaccination program, expand testing and equipment, and reimburse hospitals and other medical providers.

Cost: $160 billion

Unemployment insurance

Biden has called for an additional $400 per week in unemployment benefits through September.

Cost: $350 billion

The Republicans have proposed an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits through June 30.

Cost: $130 billion

Direct payments

Biden is seeking a third round of direct payments of up to $1,400 per person, though details remain unclear.

Cost: $465 billion

Republicans are proposing an additional $1,000 per person, with an additional $500 for children and other dependents. Benefits would be targeted at people who earn less than $50,000 per year or families that earn less than $100,000.

Cost: $220 billion

Aid to state and local governments

Biden: $350 billion

Republicans: None

Schools

Biden: $130 billion to help K-12 reopen; $35 billion for higher education

Republicans: $20 billion for K-12; nothing for higher education

Small businesses

Biden: $15 billion in small business grants; $35 billion in low-interest loans

Republicans: $50 billion for low-interest loans

Childcare

Biden: Expand tax credits to help families cover up to $3,600 in child-care costs, at a cost of $120 billion; provide $25 billion for child care providers and $15 billion in block grants

Republicans: $20 billion in block grants

Rental assistance

Biden: Extend a foreclosure moratorium until Sept. 30; provide an additional $30 billion in rental and utility-bill aid; $5 billion in housing for the homeless

Republicans: None

Paid leave

Biden would require companies and the federal government to offer paid leave for workers concerned about the coronavirus and cover the cost for small and medium-sized businesses.

Food assistance

Biden: Expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as “food stamps,” and expand aid for women and children.

Cost: Not publicized

Republicans: Similar provisions.

Cost: $12 billion

Miscellaneous

Biden: Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour; $4 billion for mental health and substance abuse services; $20 billion for veterans’ health; health-insurance subsidies; $20 billion for public transit; $20 billion for American Indian tribes; $10 billion for cyber defense programs

Republicans: $4 billion for mental health and substance abuse services

Reporting by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Aurora Ellis

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