In what many might not have seen coming, the second stimulus bill proposed by the House includes 68 references to the word "cannabis." According to the NY Post, the 1,800-page page bill references the word more than 68 times. The outlet also notes that the word "jobs" only appears 52 times. The $3 trillion coronavirus relief plan — the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act — includes stipulations that would allow state-legal marijuana businesses to access financial services during the coronavirus pandemic. But it will not allow them to apply for Small Business Administration relief funds.
The new bill would also include "hazard pay" for essential workers, such as first responders, health care workers, sanitation workers. This provision would also cover employees of businesses that are required to stay open during the pandemic. The House passed the bill, and the Senate will review it next. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly stated that it might be the end of the month before they do as the Senate feels little "urgency" regarding a vote. This attitude seems to be indicative of how many Republican politicians think about the bill. "As a package, it's going nowhere," said Oklahoma Representative Tom Cole. "It would make more to sense in my view, Madam Speaker, to send it straight to Santa Claus."
"It's political messaging only," added South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds. "There's no chance in the Senate, and they know it. Any time they start adding in attempts to provide federal funding for abortions in a COVID-19 response, we know they're not serious." Before Congress introduced the new bill, President Trump had been pushing for any second stimulus bill to include Payroll Tax Cuts. "I told Steve [Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary] just today, we're not doing anything unless we get a payroll tax cut," he said during Fox News town hall. "That is so important to the success of our country."
Tax Foundation Senior policy analyst Garrett Watson shared his expert opinion on why he is opposed to the idea of Payroll Tax Cuts. "When you do a temporary tax cut like what the White House is proposing, the literature generally finds there isn't a big effect on employment level," he said. "If you look at the 2009, 2 percentage points payroll tax cut under the Obama administration, the evidence bears out that most of that federal tax cut was saved by consumers."