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Next stimulus bill: $ 908 billion bipartisan versus $ 500 billion GOP plan



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Here’s what we know about the front runner accounts.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Two incentive accounts are bump heads in Washington this week, all vying to become the successful federal aid package by the end of 2020. It’s been nearly nine months since Congress passed the CARES Act in March to a range of economic aid to individuals and families. And at the end of December the last guarantees will lapse, leaving tens of millions of people with hunger, debt, potential job losses and eviction when the last dollars run out.

The difference between the stimulus candidates is quite large. First, there is the magnitude of the proposals. A bipartisan group of senators and representatives introduced a $ 908 billion framework, compared to Senate Leader Mitch McConnell’s review of a Senate Republican plan of about $ 500 billion (in our opinion). Neither includes a second incentive payment this time, but one more direct payment for qualified persons could release in 2021 (here’s why).

Then there is the support behind the two bills. The $ 908 billion proposal is backed by a group of Republican and Democratic senators, and has the conditional backing of top US leaders, including President-elect Joe Biden and a growing number of Republicans. (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer endorsed it as “the basis for immediate” negotiations.) McConnell’s “meager” $ 500 bill, however, did not pass through the Senate, most recently in September.

The last major category of differences boils down to the major programs that support the two accounts and how much money they could allocate as bridging until another account in 2021. Here are the major funding categories currently being discussed. This story has been updated with new information.


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More federal unemployment benefits

The CARES Act passed in March gave $ 600 a week to unemployed workers, in addition to their usual unemployment check. When this funding expired in late July, President Donald Trump has signed an executive action to pay a bonus of $ 300 per week. Which the money will run out by December 31.

The bipartisan proposal – drafted by more than a dozen representatives and senators – would bring in $ 300 a week in additional federal unemployment benefits for four months. Jeff Stein of the Washington Post reported that the bipartisan group was able to make payments retroactively for missed months.

McConnell’s plan would extend the CARES Act Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC, programs for a month through January, but does not set dollar amount.

A smaller proposal from Senators Sherrod Brown, Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democrats called the American Worker Holiday Relief Act would focus solely on extending unemployment benefits from $ 600 retroactively from September 2020 to October 2021.

Comprehensive Payroll Protection Program to help pay employees

The Payroll Protection Program initially provided loans that could be forgiven small businesses to cover employee wages and keep employees on the books rather than laying them off.

The new two-pronged proposal would add $ 300 billion to the small business Paycheck Protection Program. McConnell’s plan would also raise $ 300 billion to fund the loans.

Renewal of tenant protection against evictions

The CARES Act has one national ban on deportations for tenants who were late with the rent. When that was due to expire, Trump extended the ban, but that extension also expires at the end of the year.

According to the Washington Post, the new bipartisan proposal would guard against evictions through “rental financing.” In a press conference following the announcement, senators offered little more than calling the protection “housing and rental assistance.”

In describing his bill reportedly sent by the senator to his fellow Republicans, McConnell makes no mention of continued protection against eviction.

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Both parties are weighing up the options for a possible stimulus package.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Funding for health care and coronavirus vaccinations

With the land ready to release the first wave of vaccines against the coronavirus already this month, the proposals focus on financing the distribution of the vaccine.

“As for COVID assistance, we recognized the recent positive developments in vaccine development and the belief that it is essential to significantly fund distribution efforts to get us from vaccine to vaccination,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday. statement.

The two-pronged proposal would raise $ 50 billion for vaccine distribution, along with funding coronavirus testing and track down contact efforts. McConnell’s bill provides $ 16 billion for testing and tracking, with support for vaccine manufacturing.

Liability protection against COVID-19 lawsuits

Republican lawmakers have been supporting limiting COVID-19 liability since this summer, which aims to curtail a flood of lawsuits against businesses, schools, hospitals and other organizations from people who said these institutions were causing them the coronavirus. incurred except in cases of gross negligence.

The two-pronged plan provides for a six-month moratorium on some coronavirus-related lawsuits against organizations, giving states plenty of time to create their own liability protections, the senators said. McConnell’s liability protection would be more stringent and get in the way of state laws.

Money for schools and childcare

Funding for education was part of proposals for more economic aid dating back to May. The two-pronged plan would set aside $ 82 billion for education and another $ 10 billion for childcare. McConnell’s plan would also pay for education and childcare, with $ 105 billion to “help get students back to school,” from elementary schools to higher education.

No extra stimulus check until 2021?

The bipartisan bill would be one second economic stimulus check to keep the total cost of the account low.

McConnell’s plan also omits any other direct payment. After President-elect Joe Biden was sworn in on January 20, his government could file for a follow-up bill with a higher price tag that may contain a second payment from up to $ 1,200.

While we wait to see how and when negotiations shake up on current proposals, here’s what you need to know loans against coronavirus, unemployment insurance and what to do if you have lost your job.




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