Next week, Senate Republicans are expected to reveal a "slimmer" stimulus bill, a proposal that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has slammed as "emaciated." With a price tag of just $500 billion — $500 billion short of the GOP-backed HEALS Act and nearly $3 trillion short of the Democratic-backed HEROES Act — Schumer decried the legislation of failing to meet the needs of the current economic crisis facing the American people.
In a letter to his Democratic colleagues Thursday, Schumer criticized his Republican counterparts for "moving even further in the wrong direction" in their quest to bring forth a stimulus relief package. Noting that he had House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "have negotiated in good faith" and have "offered to meet our Republican counterparts in the middle" regarding a price tag for a proposal, Schumer said, "the White House has refused to make any significant compromise." Now, Republicans and the White House "may cut their original, inadequate, $1 trillion 'skinny' bill in half," something Schumer denounced.
"Republicans may call their proposal 'skinny,' but it would be more appropriate to call it 'emaciated.' Their proposal appears to be completely inadequate and, by every measure, fails to meet the needs of the American people," Schumer wrote. "With no money for rental assistance, no money for nutrition assistance, and no money for state and local services, the census, or safe elections, [Majority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell and Senate Republicans would be making another unacceptable and ineffective attempt at providing relief."
Schumer accused McConnell of "planning another round of partisan games" and said that the Trump administration, led by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, has "embraced a hardline view that the federal government should be doing less, not more, during this time of national crisis." He accused Republicans of simply "trying to 'check the box' and give the appearance of action."
At this time, the exact details of the upcoming proposal remain unclear, though it is believed to be focused on what Republicans see as the three most pressing issues: children, jobs, and liability protections for small businesses. Reports of the proposal had first surfaced in mid-August after negotiations on Capitol Hill regarding the HEALS Act stalled. According to those reports, and more recent updates, the new legislation will not include funding for an additional round of stimulus payments, despite direct payments having received bipartisan support as well as support from President Donald Trump. The proposal is expected to be revealed sometime next week and will likely be met with criticism.