Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has proposed a $500 billion coronavirus relief package, and there are a few things that people should know about it. According to NY Mag, McConnell has stated that the new "skinny" bill would include another round of tax rebates. He also stated that it will include "another round of checks for those who have been hit the hardest."
Notably, McConnell did not specify what the income criteria will be for receiving the payments, but he has made similar comments in the past. NY Mag reports that the rest of the bill is likely to be things McConnell and Republicans have prioritized in the past. Things like limited funds for unemployment insurance, schools, and health care facilities may be included. The bill is also most likely going to provide more money for small-business loans, as well as McConnell's liability shield provision, which he believes is necessary to protect the nation from coronavirus-related lawsuits.
STIMULUS UPDATE … @senatemajldr in kentucky: “What i’ll put on the floor is a half a trillion dollars — that’s a lot of money — half a trillion dollar program to target the actual needs that the country has. I’m not anticipating that [Dems] going to support it”— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 15, 2020
Many have questioned why Republicans do not want to pass a bill that exceeds the $1 trillion price tag — such as the House-led HEROES Act — and, back in August, Vox provided a plausible answer. The outlet reported that the main reason Republicans have been taking their time is due to their concerns over the national debt. Notably, the outlet noted that it was just rooted in disagreements with Democrats, as some GOP leaders also criticized the Trump administration for being willing to approve a more expensive bill.
"The White House is trying to solve bad polling by agreeing to indefensibly bad debt," said Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican representing Nebraska. "This proposal is not targeted to fix precise problems — it's about Democrats and Trumpers competing to outspend each other." Vox further noted that both GOP Sens. Rand Paul (KY) and Ted Cruz (TX) are concerned about this as well, but that it has led to some tensions within the party.
"It's not a winning hand that Republicans are trying to play here," a Democratic operative said. "I think it’s only made matters complicated that they’re at war with their own caucus." Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell also spoke out, attempting to quell fears, saying that while national debt worries are certainly valid, "this is not the time to act on those concerns."