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Amidst the ongoing economic and healthcare crisis, the Republican Party in the U.S. has unveiled the second round of stimulus package plan. The government is willing to pass the legislation by July 31 and has sought support from the Democratic Party for proceeding ahead.
The economic damage caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has far-reaching consequences. The presiding Republican party of the U.S. government knows it well and on Monday, they unveiled the second round of stimulus plan.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also unveiled a series of measures as part of the upcoming stimulus. The second round would involve another $1200 payment checks for individuals and $2400 per couple. Earlier, a couple with children also received $500 per child under the age of 17. However, this time, dependants above 17 would also qualify for the paycheck.
The income threshold to qualify for the paychecks also remain the same. Meaning, full payment to individuals with $75000 in adjusted gross income, and $150,000 per couple. But individuals with income over $99,000, and couples over $198,000 won’t qualify under the stimulus package relief.
Replacing the $600 per week payment for the unemployed, the government has now enhanced the federal unemployment insurance to 70% of the worker’s previous wages. Apart from the benefits offered by the states, the GOP has set the benefit of an additional $200 per week.
Second Stimulus Plan to Provide More Help to Small Businesses and Individuals
The legislation noted that it would shield small businesses with fewer than 300 employees. Besides, it added that the government aims to helps doctors, lawyers, and other professionals except in cases of “wilful misconduct” or “gross negligence”. The legislation said that it would set aside $190 as part of the Paycheck Protection Program loans.
Small businesses whose revenue crashed by more than 50% can apply for it. The legislation also plans to have $100 billion in loans for seasonal businesses and companies in low-income Census tracts. An additional $105 billion is kept for the reopening of the schools of which $30 billion would go to colleges.
To overcome the current healthcare crisis, the legislation plans to assign $16 billion to help states boost their COVID-19 testing capabilities. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby said that they would provide $26 billion for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.
With the upcoming Presidential Elections this year in November 2020, the political debates with regards to the bill have caught heat. The Democrats have termed the recent bill as unworkable. Urging the Democrats to come to a quick agreement, McConnell on Monday said:
“The pandemic is not finished. The economic pain is not finished. So Congress cannot be finished either.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that they want to finalize the legislation by July 31.