Senate Republicans have officially unveiled their plan for an additional stimulus package for America, a plan that they have named the HEALS Act. Although, the legislation has already drawn its fair share of criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House, has shared her criticism for the Republicans' HEALS Act, explaining that she doesn't believe the proposal goes far enough to help Americans during one of the biggest economic crises in the country's history.
According to Yahoo Money, there are disagreements between Democrats and Republicans as it pertains to the future of unemployment benefits, which have been a hot topic amidst this discussion about enacting another second stimulus package. On Friday, Pelosi told reporters that she was none too pleased by what the Republicans had to offer in terms of unemployment benefits. She said, "Republicans in the Senate came back with a piecemeal approach. Clearly, they and perhaps the White House do not understand the gravity of the situation. This is a freight train that is picking up steam."
Pelosi's comments come as Republicans pushed forward two separate proposals this week regarding the future of unemployment benefits, both of which the Democrats rejected. On Monday, Republicans first proposed a cut to the extra unemployment benefits that were given out under the CARES Act. While the CARES Act entitled eligible Americans to a bonus of $600 per week in unemployment benefits, the HEALS Act would reduce that figure to $200 per week through September and would then transition to unemployment benefits that would replace 70% of working wages. In response to this proposal, Pelosi said, "They [Republicans] resent America's working families, getting the $600, which is essential to their needs. So they've offered $200."
Republican Senator Mitt Romney and other GOP senators pushed forward another proposal on Thursday. Their plan calls for states to choose whether to reduce unemployment benefits to an 80% wage replacement or gradual reduction in those benefits to $500 per week in August, $400 per week in September, and $300 per week in October. Pelosi also spoke out regarding this plan and expressed why she doesn't believe that it will pass in the Senate. "God bless him for having a proposal, I don't think he can pass that in the Senate either," she said. "All of it is predicated on a lower benefit for America's working families at a time where the virus is accelerating." When, and if, Republicans and Democrats do agree on a stimulus proposal, it's unclear exactly what it will entail for Americans who are currently dealing with this health crisis.