House Democrats released a scaled-back version of their COVID-19 stimulus bill on Monday after the Senate refused to act on a bigger one the House passed in May.
The $2.2 trillion package, down from the $3.4 trillion one it released previously, would extend the Paycheck Protection Program to help hardest-hit businesses, restore weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through January, provide another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, and help bolster support to several sectors, including education and child care centers, airline workers and people receiving food aid benefits.
The Republican-controlled Senate is unlikely to pass it if the House sends it to them. President Donald Trump has reportedly said he’s willing to sign a $1.3 trillion coronavirus relief bill, about a trillion less than what House Democrats are angling for.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that now that Democrats had made concessions, it was Republicans’ turn.
“Democrats are making good on our promise to compromise with this updated bill, which is necessary to address the immediate health and economic crisis facing America’s working families right now,” she said in a letter to Democrats as the bill was unveiled.
The Senate has been at an impasse since Senate Democrats blocked Senate Republican’s much smaller, $300 billion package earlier this month.
The release of the bill on Monday came as Pelosi was meeting with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to negotiate on the terms of the package. Pelosi releasing the bill’s text as she was meeting with him suggested to many that the talks weren’t going well and that it’s unlikely Congress will come to an agreement on a stimulus package before Election Day.
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