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As the proposal does not include stimulus checks for Americans, US President Donald Trump is calling for other measures to help American families recover from COVID-19.
For the last several months, the US lawmakers have been discussing a new round of COVID-19 relief. On Monday, December 14, a bipartisan group revealed a new $908 billion proposal that aims to provide economic aid to US employees and small businesses. However, this COVID-19 relief bill does not provide stimulus checks for Americans.
The bipartisan proposal is split into two parts: a $748 billion and a $160 billion bills. The first one includes additional funding for the popular Paycheck Protection Program, enhanced federal unemployment benefits ($300 per week for 16 weeks and unemployment insurance), school insurance. Besides, it will allocate money for vaccine development and distribution, COVID-19 testing, and contact tracing. The second bill will serve as a liability shield for businesses and state and local governments.
Brian Gardner, the chief Washington policy strategist at Stifel, wrote:
“Christmas is less than two weeks away but the situation with talks over a COVID-19 relief bill makes the season feel more like Groundhog Day.”
He further added:
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has held talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin but those talks have apparently not included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Until Sen. McConnell is part of the talks, chances of a bill passing are low.”
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump is calling for a second round of stimulus checks to help American families recover from COVID-19.
“Right now, I want to see checks – for more money than they’re talking about – going to people. I’m pushing it very hard, and to be honest with you, if the Democrats really wanted to do the deal, they’d do the deal.”
Besides, Trump indicated he would support a direct cash payment of up to $2,000.
Currently, Senators are working on a solution. Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted:
Congress cannot go home for the Christmas holidays until we pass legislation which provides a $1,200 direct payment to working class adults, $2,400 for couples, and a $500 payment to their children.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 14, 2020
Debates over the Second Set of COVID-19 Stimulus Checks
In March 2020, the Trump administration released a $2.3 trillion economic package. It included $1,200 checks for individuals and $2,400 for couples, plus $500 per child. However, the Democrats said this wasn’t enough to cope with coronavirus impact. In May, they proposed the second round of stimulus package as a whopping $3 trillion.
In the following months, there have been debates over the necessity of the second round of checks. At the end of November, more consumers said they felt a financial impact from the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, many said they needed far more than another one-time payment of $1,200 to help them survive until the coronavirus vaccine is widely available next year.
Now lawmakers have to agree on the decision. They have to agree on a massive government spending bill before December 18, when funding expires.