A new stimulus package costing about $2.4 trillion is being prepared in the U.S. that includes a second round of stimulus checks for Americans. Since the first coronavirus stimulus package was signed into law, talks of further relief aid have stalled. This new proposal aims to restart the stimulus package discussion.
Nancy Pelosi Plans to Introduce a $2.4 Trillion Stimulus Package
House Democrats are reportedly putting together a new coronavirus stimulus plan that would cost about $2.4 trillion, which is roughly $1 trillion less than their previous proposal. CNBC described on Saturday:
The bill would include enhanced unemployment insurance, direct payments to Americans, Paycheck Protection Program small-business loan funding and aid to airlines, among other provisions.
Since the $2.2 trillion stimulus package was signed into law, U.S. lawmakers have been discussing another stimulus relief package but Democrats and Republicans could not come to an agreement on how much more aid is needed to combat the coronavirus-led economic crisis.
In May, the House passed the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act but negotiations on the bill stalled in the Senate, with both sides blaming each other. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of using the current economic hardships to pressure Trump and Senate Republicans into a deal, Politico reported. However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) claimed that the White House and top Senate Republicans were the ones refusing to negotiate since the package costs more than the Trump administration was willing to accept.
Pelosi is expected to introduce the $2.4 trillion package to restart negotiations with the White House. The bill could be voted on as soon as next week but lawmakers are also taking into account the upcoming November U.S. presidential election whether to pass more aid now and how to structure it.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has criticized Pelosi’s $2.4 trillion stimulus bill, stating that it “shows again she’s not serious about a Covid relief bill, that she’s just playing politics.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he and Pelosi have agreed to restart stimulus discussions. “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 reportedly said in a Senate Banking Committee meeting Thursday. Moreover, a bipartisan group of 50 lawmakers released a stimulus package framework last week calling for $1.5 trillion in relief.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and a number of economists have warned that the U.S. economy could take a hit without more fiscal stimulus. Last month, the Federal Reserve announced a policy shift to push up inflation and has since pledged to keep interest rates near zero for several years.
Editor’s Note (Sept. 27, 2020, 18:34 EDT): This article has been updated with more details on the HEROES Act.
Editor’s Note (Sept. 28, 2020, 20:52 EDT): House Democrats introduced a $2.2 trillion Covid-19 relief bill on Monday, smaller than the previous estimate of $2.4 trillion.
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