A new, bipartisan coronavirus relief bill is reportedly on its way to the U.S. Congress — including another stimulus check for every qualifying American. The Republican-controlled United States Senate and Democrat-controlled House of Representatives have struggled to reach an agreement on the next stimulus package that out-of-work Americans need. According to a report by Forbes, the next attempt is coming soon, though analysts are not sure if it can break the stalemate between the two groups.
The new bill comes from a bipartisan group of 50 representative from the House, in the hopes of making a compromise between the two sides in this debate. It would include another stimulus check worth up to $1,200 per individual, with eligibility determined similarly to how it was in the first round of payments. This bill would also renew the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses, and would bring back enhanced unemployment insurance to the tune of $450 per week. The total price tag of the new bill stands at about $1.5 trillion.
This is likely to be the biggest sticking point for Senate Republicans, according to a report by Politico. While Democrats have now agreed to drop their stimulus proposal from over $3 trillion down to $2.2 trillion, Republicans have hardly budged above their initial $1 trillion cap. The White House promised that Republicans would go up to at least $1.3 trillion, but so far Senate leaders have not confirmed this.
While it is larger, the bill does concede to some Republican ideas — notably the process for basing enhanced unemployment on lost income. Under this bill, Americans could collect $450 per week for eight weeks, at which time the program would replace their lost wages up to a cap of $600 per week. This, too, would expire after five more weeks.
The bill also includes $500 billion in coronavirus funding to state and local governments, meeting in the middle between Democrats' proposed $900 billion and Republicans' $150 billion. It provides $100 billion for public health measures like virus testing, tracing and new safety measures, as well as $25 billion for mortgage and rent assistance.
"We can't afford to do nothing until the next inauguration," said New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer — a Democrat — during an interview on CNBC. "So we figured out a way — and it's just a framework — to hopefully get the negotiators back to the table."