WASHINGTON (News Nation) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed the Senate Republican’s plan for the next possible stimulus relief bill related to COVID-19 economic challenges.
“We want another round of direct payments… to help American families keep driving our national comeback,” McConnell said.
Here is a breakdown of what we know, so far, about each plan:
Senate GOP’s Plan
Cost: Est. $1 trillion
Based on McConnell’s Tuesday speech on the Senate floor, the Senate majority will propose a bill which includes:
- A second round of direct stimulus payments
- Reimbursement for safe workplaces
- Legal protections for healthcare workers, schools, colleges, charities and businesses
- “Targeted second round” of the Paycheck Protection Program “with a special eye toward hard-hit businesses.”
- $105 billion for educators to reopen schools
- Funding for vaccines, diagnostics and treatments
- “Protect seniors from a potential spike in premiums”
- Continued funding for hospitals, providers and testing
“The legislation that I have begun to sketch out is neither another CARES Act to float the entire economy, nor a typical stimulus bill for a nation that’s ready to get back to normal,” McConnell said. “Our country is in a complex middle ground between those two things.”
House Democrat’s Plan
Cost: $3 trillion
This bill already passed the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives.
This is a high level look at the Democrat’s HEROES Act, which was passed on May 15.
- A second round of direct stimulus payments of $1,200
- Paid sick days, family and medical leave, unemployment compensation, nutrition and food assistance
- Expanded Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and nonprofits
- A grant fund for employers to provide pandemic premium pay for workers
- Expand tax credits & deductions
- Funding & requirements for COVID-19 testing and contract tracing
- Extends moratorium on certain evictions and foreclosures
- Requires employers to develop and implement infectious disease control plans
President Donald Trump insists on a payroll tax holiday for workers.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting chief of staff Mark Meadows conferred privately with GOP senators before preparing to meet with House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. Trump’s team is trying to broker a compromise between the GOP’s emerging $1 trillion proposal with the House’s more sweeping $3 trillion bill.
Meadows told reporters the president wants to ensure the funding package “meets the legitimate needs that are before the American people.”
Trump wants a full repeal of the 15.3% payroll tax, which is split among employers and employees, and funds Social Security and Medicare. Experts say that alone would cost $600 billion. At a White House meeting on Monday, GOP leaders told Trump they preferred to include only a partial payroll tax cut.
Supporters say cutting it now for employees would put money in people’s pockets and stimulate the economy.
Opponents say a tax cut does little to help out-of-work Americans and adds to the debt load. The tax is already being deferred for employers under the previous virus relief package.
Senate Democrats Plan
Senate Democrats are seeking even more than Democrats in the U.S. House for education: $430 billion for schools and universities to re-open — with money for spacing students apart, buying masks for daily use and alternating bus schedules.
The proposed virus aid package would be the fifth, following the $2.2 trillion bill passed in March, the largest U.S. intervention of its kind. The jobless rate has remained in double digits, higher than in the last decade’s Great Recession, and a federal eviction moratorium on millions of rental units approved in the last bill is about to expire.