While President Donald Trump is reportedly pushing back on some aspects of legislation for a second stimulus check, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is close to unveiling his plan for another payment, according to a report by the Associated Press. White House reporters were told on Monday that McConnell has written up a $1 trillion stimulus package to combat the coronavirus pandemic and that it will be rolled out in a matter of days.
McConnell and other Republican senators refused to consider the U.S. Congress last coronavirus relief bill, insisting that they would write their own when they returned to Washington this week. Now, McConnell has reportedly finished the proposal but is facing challenges from the Trump administration before pushing it through. According to AP News, Trump is not happy that McConnell's plan includes money for more COVID-19 testing, and is dissatisfied with its payroll tax cut measures as well. Trump made it sound as if the Senate is working to compromise with him on these points. "We've made a lot of progress," he said. "Unfortunately, this is something that's very tough."
Lawmakers are on a strict deadline to get something passed, as many of the most critical financial relief measures are set to expire on July 31. That includes the $600 unemployment enhancement, which is vital to the millions of Americans who have been laid off during the pandemic — permanently or otherwise. However, it is said that McConnell's plan will replace this program instead of extending it, likely offering less money to the unemployed.
Reporters also learned that McConnell's plan may include another stimulus check worth up to $1,200, possibly with a lower income threshold than the first check. While the last payment went to anyone who made $99,000 or less on their most recent tax filing, this one may go to people who made $75,000 or less.
Other unique aspects of McConnell's plan reportedly include a sweeping five-year liability shield against coronavirus lawsuits, to protect employers and business owners who have reopened during this pandemic. The bill allocates $25 billion for coronavirus testing, and the U.S. Congress reportedly plans to fight hard to keep that measure, in spite of the president's protests.
McConnell and other Senate Republicans have said that they are intent on keeping their stimulus package at $1 trillion or less, citing concerns about the rising national debt. Back in March, they passed the record-breaking CARES Act, which was $2.1 trillion in federal aid, though they ignored the HEROES Act, which would have been $3 trillion. Whatever the case, lawmakers are clearly hoping to pass something by the end of July.