Senate Minority Leader Chuch Schumer condemned the upcoming stimulus package as "woefully inadequate" on Monday, just hours before it was set to be unveiled. Schumer was working off of public reports about the new legislation, which was written by the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Schumer was most upset by the things the Republican bill left out.
"From what has been reported, the GOP is drafting a woefully inadequate COVID proposal with nothing on rental assistance, hazard pay for essential workers, aid to state, local, and tribal governments, or investments in communities of color," Schumer tweeted on Monday morning. This message came as various aspects of the new stimulus package were being leaked, along with the hope that the bill itself will be made public on Monday. As expected, the bill will be much slimmer than the offerings from Schumer and other Democrats, which come with much higher price tags.
From what has been reported, the GOP is drafting a woefully inadequate COVID proposal with nothing on rental assistance, hazard pay for essential workers, aid to state, local, and tribal governments, or investments in communities of color.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 27, 2020
McConnell's bill is expected to cost around $1 trillion. Not only is that less than half the cost of the CARES Act — which provided the first stimulus check — it's about a third of the cost of the HEROES Act, which the Democrats in the U.S. Congress passed back in May. The Senate ignored the HEROES Act altogether, then scrambled to get their own legislation passed this month.
On Monday, sources familiar with the new stimulus package told The Washington Post that it would cut the emergency unemployment benefits from $600 per week to $200 per week. Even this is only temporary, as Republicans reportedly want states to build a whole new unemployment infrastructure where laid-off Americans will be paid 70 percent of their lost income.
So far, the greatest similarity to past stimulus legislation seems to be the stimulus check itself, which will reportedly be worth $1,200 per person for any taxpayers who made $75,000 or less on their last tax return. The payments will decrease incrementally from there to a gross annual income of $98,000, at which point wealthier Americans will not receive a stimulus check.
McConnell and his office have worked closely with the White House over the last few weeks on the new stimulus package, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin visiting Capitol Hill for input. The stimulus bill was initially meant to be revealed on Thursday, but negotiations with the Trump administration pushed it back to this week.