Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected a new bipartisan $908 billion stimulus plan that was put forward on Tuesday.
According to CNBC, the new bill included aid for the following:
- $288 billion in small business aid such as Paycheck Protection Program loans
- $160 billion in state and local government relief
- $180 billion to fund a $300 per week supplemental unemployment benefit through March.
- $16 billion into vaccine distribution, testing and contact tracing
- $82 billion into education
- $45 billion into transportation.
- It would also allocate funds for rental assistance, child care and broadband.
Noticeably missing from this bill is another round of direct payments to Americans.
Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, called the bill an “interim package” to provide support until President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office in January.
“If there’s one thing I’m hearing uniformly it’s: ‘Congress, do not leave town for the holidays leaving the country and the economy adrift with all these initial CARES [Act] programs running out,’” Warner told CNBC.
Very importantly, Sen. Joe Manchin, (who worked on the proposal) said he did not have assurances from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, that they would vote on the plan.
This is a very interesting development.
I’ve been predicting that a package about this size would initially get pursued and hopefully passed by Congress.
It is discouraging to hear that McConnell has not embraced this deal which is substantially under what Democrats were pushing for only a couple of months ago.
It is also discouraging to see that this bill does not include more stimulus checks.
However, like I was suspecting, some Democrats seem to be going with the strategy of passing a smaller bill and then trying to push something else later after the regime change in the White House.
This is directly in line with what we have heard is being discussed by the Biden administration.
However, we have not heard Pelosi’s thoughts on this approach. That will be interesting to hear because this type of approach goes directly against the strategy she has been pushing for during the last six months.
If McConnell is not on board because he thinks this is too high and Pelosi is not supporting it because she feels it is too low, then obviously this bill is not going to make any progress.
Still, at least there are efforts being made to create a new stimulus deal by some lawmakers.
Leaders of the House and Senate have not held formal talks on a stimulus bill since the election on Nov. 3.
But with some key benefits expiring at the end of December including unemployment insurance extensions and evictions protections, something needs to be done quickly.
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