After promising to take up a stimulus bill for coronavirus relief this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell outlined what his striped-down plan would include in a press release on Saturday. The Senate is expected to vote on the proposal on Wednesday. Here’s what McConnell says it will include:
- “More federally-expanded unemployment benefits for laid-off Americans”
- “An entire second round of the Paycheck Protection Program to save workers’ jobs at the hardest-hit small businesses”
- “$100B+ to make schools safe for kids”
- “More testing”
- “More tracing”
- “More funding for Operation Warp Speed to produce a vaccine”
- “More funding to distribute that vaccine across the country”
Noticeably absent from the list? Additional aid for state and local governments and direct payments to Americans in the form of $1,200 stimulus checks. At $500 billion, McConnell’s plan is not even one-third the size of latest $1.8 trillion proposal from the White House—a deal some prominent Democrats, including Representative Ro Khanna of California—have urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take.
McConnell has said that he won’t even bring a bill that size to the floor, but President Trump—looking for last-minute pre-election win—wants a deal before November, so we’ll see if McConnell changes his tune at all this week. As the Hill reports, Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, has already called McConnell’s pared-down bill and pending vote this week a “stunt.”
Stay tuned . . .