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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 Johnson

Seth is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute student course.

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  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Fri, 07/24/2020 06:36 am

    Government malfeasance continues.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Fri, 07/24/2020 03:27 pm

    Some of the assistance is justified. But there is some huge unfairness in the way the federal unemployment supplement was enacted. I'm personally acquainted with several people who were required to work through the entire 4 months (so far) of covid restrictions. They are taking home their regular pay each week. They have co-workers who were sent home and are receiving a couple hundred a week more than those who are working. 

    I also know there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of workers in poultry processing in my local area who have been working through the pandemic, because food production is essential. These jobs are poor paying, and these essential workers are also getting a lot less each week than people sitting at home. Sitting at home, not working from home.  

    There is, unsurprisingly, quite a wave of anger developing over this, among those who have worked through the pandemic.  In some cases, such as that of a nephew of mine, it was known throughout his company that the goof-offs, the least productive workers, were the ones management chose to send home. To receive more money. For playing video games and binge-watching TV.