More coronavirus aid in the works
by Seth Johnson
Posted 7/23/20, 01:19 pm
Senate Republicans discussed portions of their plan for a $1 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package on Thursday. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the agreement a starting point for negotiations but did not introduce any legislation. President Donald Trump is prepared to drop his demand for a payroll tax cut in the proposal. “The president is very focused on getting money quickly to workers right now, and the payroll tax takes time,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. Democrats pushed their own $3 trillion package through the House in May, but Senate Republicans said it was dead on arrival.
What would the new package include? The GOP plan would send another $1,200 check to most Americans while replacing the $600 weekly unemployment benefit, set to expire Friday, with a system offering applicants 70 percent of their previous salary. The package also includes a liability shield against coronavirus-related lawsuits for schools, businesses, and others. The bill designates $105 billion for schools to reopen in-person or online, along with additional funding for vaccine research.
Dig deeper: Read Harvest Prude’s report in The Stew about the debate on Capitol Hill over how to offer aid without discouraging work.
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Seth is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute student course.