Senate Republicans unveiled a $1 trillion coronavirus stimulus package Monday and then spent Tuesday fighting about how bad it is, making it very clear that any sort of much-needed financial relief isn't going to come any time soon, not until we've gone through a few weeks of arguing.
"As of now, we're very far apart", Mnuchin told reporters. Republicans want to slash it to $200 a week as an incentive to push people back to work.
Asked again what that provision was doing in the coronavirus bill, McEnany couldn't say, but said it is "not a dealbreaker". Republican Senator Kevin Cramer has said he plans to oppose Tata's nomination unless the Pentagon makes changes to an unrelated policy issue.
State Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove of Bakersfield criticized Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday for canceling a committee meeting that would have allowed legislators to order an audit of the state Employment Development Department.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows were due to resume negotiations with the two top Democrats in Congress: House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Last Friday, as Common Dreams reported, a federal moratorium on evictions expired, leaving the more than 12 million people in the US who live in homes with federally backed mortgages vulnerable to being forced onto the streets.
There's more money for virus testing, $15 billion for child care centers, and benefits for businesses, including a fresh round of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, tax breaks, and a sweeping liability shield from COVID-19-related lawsuits.
But disagreements both within the GOP and across the aisle led Senate Republicans to refocus just on passing a standalone unemployment boost on Thursday to avoid a lapse in benefits, Politico reports. Democrats proposed almost $1 trillion for states and cities to avert municipal layoffs of government workers.
One major sticking point will be over funding for states and cities. Republicans gave no new money and prefer providing them with flexibility in previously approved aid. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said McConnell would be lucky to get half the Republicans on board. "It's hard to say that we will compromise on one particular area of significance without seeing the entirety of the package".
It's clear that Democrats hold sway in the negotiations because Republicans are so deeply divided over the prospect of big government spending. Democrats say Trump is trying to protect his Washington hotel, which is across the street from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
At the same time, though, he said he sees little reason to fight for the administration's position that the Federal Bureau of Investigation building should get funding via the relief bill. Democrats countered with a plan to extend the $600 benefit through January. Many Republicans came around to the White House's pitch for a smaller package by Friday.
As part of the 2.2-trillion-U.S. dollar coronavirus relief bill passed in late March, Congress agreed to provide 600-dollar federal unemployment benefits per week on top of state unemployment benefits, which are set to expire at the end of July. The older computer systems in many states that operates unemployment would need to be reprogrammed two times.
Economists widely see signs of trouble in the economy as the virus crisis continues.
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