Politics Democrats Crafting New $2.4 Trillion Stimulus Bill to Spur Talks
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(Bloomberg) -- House Democrats have started drafting a stimulus proposal of roughly $2.4 trillion that they can take into possible negotiations with the White House and Senate Republicans, according to House Democratic officials.
The Democrat-only plan also would address demands from swing-state lawmakers in the party for passage of a virus-relief plan before they adjourn for the stretch run of their reelection campaigns -- even if it doesn’t result in a deal that gets signed into law.
Second Stimulus Check Mired in Congress Six Months After Trump Signed First
A bipartisan split over the contents of a further relief package, which might include further direct payments, continues among lawmakers.Though there is support on both sides of the aisle for another package, and even for a second stimulus check, they are firmly divided on the details. A deal that could pass the Democrat-controlled House and GOP-majority Senate remains elusive.
The bill could get passed by the House next week. While smaller than the $3.4 trillion package the House passed in May, it remains much larger than what Senate Republicans have said they could accept. President Donald Trump has indicated he’d be willing to go as high as $1.5 trillion.
“When you are talking about $2.2 trillion and $1.5 trillion you are in deal-making territory” Democratic Representative Dan Kildee said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer had earlier pressed the White House for a $2.2 trillion package.
As the top-line figure remains well above what the Trump administration has favored, the new House bill may do little on its own to resolve the impasse in talks that’s persisted since August. Senate Republicans proved unable to coalesce around an earlier $1 trillion proposal, and instead backed a $650 billion plan that ended up getting blocked by Democrats as insufficient.
Senate Republicans are still struggling on a stimulus deal — even as they expedite a Supreme Court nomination
Many voters want the Senate to prioritize stimulus.Trump’s test results gave the stock market a slight jolt on Friday and a recent report revealed that jobs growth has been less than robust. But GOP members in the upper chamber have focused instead on their expedited process for the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court — leaving many to wonder if any relief will happen at all before the election.
The bill adds to the previous $2.2 trillion Pelosi-Schumer plan with help for the U.S. airline industry to avert massive job losses, which could start Oct. 1 when restrictions expire from a prior round of federal assistance. Also included is small-business aid and a bailout for restaurants.
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin each raised the prospect of resuming negotiations on a stimulus package earlier Thursday, without giving any indication that they’d moved closer to a compromise.
Mnuchin said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Thursday that a targeted pandemic relief package was “still needed.”
House Democrats pass their $2.2 trillion stimulus plan which includes $600 federal unemployment benefits and direct payments
The coronavirus relief package is likely to be rejected in the GOP-controlled Senate as many Republicans argue against more federal spending.The legislation passed by a party-line vote of 214-207, with 17 Democrats voting against the package.
“If the Democrats are willing to sit down, I’m willing to sit down anytime for bipartisan legislation. Let’s pass something quickly,” Mnuchin said.
The House speaker told reporters Wednesday she wasn’t sure when she and Mnuchin would next talk.
“We are ready for a negotiation,” she said. “I am talking with my caucus and my leadership and we will see what we are going to do,” Pelosi said.
The prospect of talks helped push stocks higher briefly. But that optimism was tempered by reports showing a resurgence in coronavirus cases in Europe, and investors pulled stocks back off session highs.
Lawmakers on both sides remained skeptical a deal could be had before the Nov. 3 election.
Texas Representative Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the tax writing committee, said the effort to draft a Democratic-only bill wasn’t a good sign.
“It’s a waste of time,” he said. “She could draft ten more partisan bills -- it doesn’t get us an inch closer,” he said, referring to Pelosi.
Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, said, “There’s always a chance around here, as you know, but it is slim.”
The Treasury is upping its offer to Democrats to pass a new stimulus bill including $1,200 direct payments, report says
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are yet to strike a deal, but say they are hopeful and talks will continue.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered a $1.62 trillion package in his Wednesday talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the report said.
“I don’t think we are going to get it done before whatever break we have before the elections,” Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland said. The Republicans are “underestimating” the danger to the economy and are unlikely to accept a significant stimulus, he added.
The risk of a slowdown in the recovery is rising with the lack of movement on fiscal stimulus. Initial claims for unemployment insurance remained at a level above the peak during the Great Recession of 2007-09, the latest weekly data showed on Thursday.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated his conclusion that “it’s likely that additional fiscal support will be needed,” speaking at the same Senate panel where Mnuchin was testifying.
The recovery has been faster than anticipated so far, Powell said, thanks to income support to those affected by the pandemic.
“The risk is that they’ll go through that money, ultimately, and have to cut back on spending and maybe lose their home,” the Fed chief said. “That’s the downside risk of no further action.”
The plan for a fresh House vote on stimulus follows weeks of resistance from Pelosi to suggestions from moderate members for a vote on a new Democratic package. About a dozen moderate members this week began threatening to mutiny and back a Republican procedural move to force a House floor vote on small-business relief. Some of those members on Thursday began circulating a letter opposing the GOP move, as Pelosi proceeded toward a House compromise vote.
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BREAKING: Democrats release new $2.2trillion COVID package .
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement Monday.The scaled back proposal will 'protect lives, livelihoods, and the life of our democracy over the coming months' Pelosi told her fellow Democrats.