October 3, 2020 Update:
Late last week, the House of Representatives officially passed their new stimulus package proposal.
The revised bill was passed with a 214 to 207 vote.
So the good news is that Congress is still taking action to get another relief package out to the American public amidst some pretty chaotic conditions.
The bad news is that this bill was the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.
We know that Pelosi has been working with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over the past week to arrive at a deal both sides of the aisle would agree to.
After several days of negotiating, they arrived at a counter offer from Mnuchin valued at around $1.6 trillion.
That counter offer price tag is probably the only realistic price tag that Senate Republicans would even think about passing right now.
(Remember, a sizable group of Republicans is against any type of additional aid due to the increasing deficit.)
So the fact at the House just passed the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill is probably more of a symbolic move than anything.
Even though we likely won’t see that bill pass in the Senate it at least is in line with what we are hearing from leaders like Pelosi about efforts being taken to arrive at an agreement.
This also comes at a time when President Trump has been diagnosed with coronavirus along with other individuals in the White House and three Republican senators.
Some people feel that the recent outbreak among government officials could apply a sense of urgency for them to get things done with respect to coronavirus relief.
The idea is that now that they have personal experience with the virus, they will be more likely to take action to remedy circumstances brought about by the virus.
There may be some truth to that but we will have to see how it plays out.
The other side of that coin is that it could pause or slow down other important proceedings like the confirmation hearings of the new Supreme Court justice, Amy Coney Barrett.
As issues like that become bottlenecked and disputed, there could be a slow down with negotiations and voting for stimulus aid so we really don’t know how this will play out.
If you’re curious as to the contents of the revised stimulus bill, here are some of the key points via Bankrate.
- Reinstating a $600 weekly unemployment benefits boost until January 2021
- Sending another round of $1,200 direct payments to middle- and low-income Americans and an extra $500 for dependents
- Another round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans
- $436 billion in emergency aid to state and local governments
- $225 billion in relief for childcare and schools
- $120 billion in aid for restaurants
- $25 billion in support for passenger airlines and employees, plus $3 billion for contractors to help the industry avoid more layoffs
As expected there is now a new counteroffer on the table and there may already be signs that Republicans will get on board.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin unveiled a new $1.62 trillion relief bill.
This bill is a direct counteroffer to the recently proposed bill from Democrats valued at over $2 trillion.
The new bill proposal comes soon after a much lower package had been proposed by the a White House.
This was presumably the work of President Trump.
“The president instructed us to come up significantly, so we have come up from the trillion dollar deal,” Mnuchin said.
The bill includes many sought after benefits including more $1,200 stimulus checks and extension of federal unemployment benefits at a rate of $400.
Interestingly, the bill also includes some highly contested items like aid to local and state governments.
Here are some additional details via Forbes:
- $160 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help small businesses
- $10 billion targeted at helping minority-led businesses
- $120 billion in aid to restaurants and live ventures, with $20 billion earmarked specifically for airlines
- $28 billion in student loan relief
- $60 billion in rental and mortgage assistance
- $25 billion in help for child care providers
- $20 billion in aid for farmers
One more really interesting development is that after Mnuchin’s meeting with Pelosi on Wednesday, “McConnell signaled he could begrudgingly get enough votes to pass the plan Mnuchin laid out if Democrats sign off on it,” according to Roll Call’s source.
That would mean that a deal is basically agreed to if true.
However, some have disputed whether or not that is true.
At the very least, it’s a great sign of progress that counteroffers are happening and the level of involvement from high up leaders suggest that this might finally be the stimulus package that breaks through.
House Democrats officially unveiled the latest stimulus relief bill that includes more stimulus checks. This piece of legislation is essentially a revamped version of the HEROES bill passed by the House in April. The original price tag of this package was $3.4 trillion but it has now been trimmed down to close to $2.2 trillion.
“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,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, wrote in a letter to House Democrats.
“We have been able to make critical additions and reduce the cost of the bill by shortening the time covered for now.”
Here’s a look at what the new stimulus bill would include according to CBS:
- $1,200 stimulus check: A second round of direct payments to U.S. citizens. The checks would be for the same amount as before, $1,200 for qualifying taxpayers and $500 per dependent.
- Federal unemployment benefit: The $600 per week federal unemployment benefit would be restored and payments would go out until the end of January 2021.
- State and local aid: Democrats are proposing $436 billion in aid to states and cities. The money is designed to help alleviate budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, Democrats wanted $900 billion for state and city governments.
- PPP funding: The bill proposes extending the Paycheck Protection Program to aid small businesses.
- Airline help: The legislation aims to keep airline industry employees on the payroll.
- Education: K-12 schools would get $182 billion and postsecondary schools would get $39 billion.
- Child care: $57 billion is earmarked to support child care.
It does not seem like the Republican controlled Senate will pass this bill but it could be the start of a deal yet to come.
We’ve gotten some good news regarding this latest proposal I wrote about yesterday.
According to reports, House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have a greed to revive talks and might even be currently working through a new bill.
“I’ve probably spoken to Speaker Pelosi 15 or 20 times in the last few days on the coronavirus relief and we’ve agreed to continue to have discussions about the CARES Act,” Mnuchin said in a Senate Banking Committee meeting Thursday.
According to the Hill, Pelosi backed up Mnuchin’s comments telling reporters, “we’ll be hopefully soon to the table with them.”
It’s believed that House Democrats will pass the new $2.4 trillion relief package next week in part to demonstrate that they are not giving up on passing virus relief prior to the upcoming election.
Several lawmakers on the Democrat side have expressed continued interest in passing another package quickly.
“We’re trying to figure out how to move a negotiation forward because we believe the American people need some help. And so we’re going to try,” said Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass.
“Our chairs are looking at everything again and the hope is that we can come up with something.”
However, some Republicans believe that this new proposal will merely be another waste of time.
“It’s a waste of time,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, saying a Democrats-only approach won’t go anywhere.
“She could pass 10 more partisan bills. That won’t get us an inch closer.”
While it’s not clear that this new measure will gain traction among both parties, it is at least encouraging to hear that more negotiations are taking place involving Pelosi and members of the White House.
If you’ve been following the stimulus package news over the past couple of months you know one thing.
Republicans have proposed a package valued at around $1.1 trillion and at best might be interested in passing a package valued up to $1.5 trillion, although that is actually quite a stretch for many Republicans.
Democrats on the other hand proposed the $3.4 trillion heroes bill back in April. This figure was way out of range for Republicans and so Democrats were willing to negotiate the total down to $2.2 trillion.
Since then, there has been virtually no progress with the negotiations and many new challenges have emerged with unexpected events such as the death of a Supreme Court justice.
But now speaker Nancy Pelosi called leaders together in her caucus to put together a new stimulus bill that would offer a to restaurants, Airlines, unemployment benefits, and also a second stimulus check.
In addition to the perks above, there will also be funds for local and state governments, small businesses, and matters pertaining to election security and the United States Postal Service.
The total amount on this package is $2.4 trillion.
At first, you might be scratching your head as to why Pelosi would introduce a bill that is even higher than the current negotiating point for Democrats.
I’m assuming this is some type of negotiation tactic. Maybe they are trying to land a package valued between 1.5 and $1.8 trillion?
Some lawmakers think Pelosi is merely playing politics with this new proposal.
“It shows again she’s not serious about getting a COVID relief bill, that she’s just playing politics,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California. “And what’s really sad about this is it’s really hurting the American public.”
Regardless, Pelosi did reiterate that they are still attempting to make an agreement.
“We are still striving for an agreement,” Pelosi, D-California, said in a Democratic leadership meeting held this week.
This is good news considering that Democrats have started to apply pressure to her to get something fast.
According to the story in the Post, Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), Sent her a letter that said, “We write to you now to implore you to bring a revised and streamlined COVID-19 relief package to the floor next week. Americans are counting on us; they cannot wait any longer.”
Stay tuned for updates.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.