Economy

Stimulus Package May Be Unveiled Next Week

More relief could be on the way for Americans hurting from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

A new stimulus package may be introduced as early as next week when Congress returns from recess, Forbes reported.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is expected to present lawmakers with a draft of stimulus legislation authored by Republicans, with input from the White House, the news outlet reported.

While it’s unclear which provisions will make the final cut and reach the president’s desk, the report provided details of what’s under discussion.

A second round of stimulus checks has the support of Democrats, Republicans and President Donald Trump. But the amount and eligibility criteria have not been determined, Forbes reported.

The proposals range from a repeat of the $1,200 one-time stimulus check to as much as $2,000 a month.

But McConnell has said if there is a second stimulus check it will not be a recurring payment and could be limited to Americans who earn up to $40,000 a year.

Under the previous measure, a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income could not exceed $75,000. It’s also possible that second stimulus checks will be less than $1,200.

The other question is how much money will go to state and local governments. Without federal support, some cities and states are likely to face severe budget cuts and potential bankruptcies.

Congress is expected to approve state and local aid, but the amounts differ between the parties. Republicans want school money to be limited to $30 billion while Democrats have said $430 billion is the right number.

On the $600 federal weekly unemployment benefit which expires on July 31, most Democrats want to extend it due to double-digit unemployment. But many Republicans have said that amount is too high and encourages workers to stay jobless.

Instead, Senate Republicans and the White House support a provision that would provide a $450 a week cash return-to-work bonus.

Liability protections for businesses, hospitals and schools are essential for McConnell. He has made that a centerpiece of the new stimulus.

Among the items unlikely to win Congressional approval include: Trump’s payroll tax cut to jumpstart the economy; a student loan forgiveness plan; a large-scale, comprehensive infrastructure plan; and a $4,000 tax credit travel bonus for anyone who takes a vacation at least 50 miles from home.

Last month, the new stimulus was put on hold as the details were being worked out.

“We want to be careful at this point, seeing how much money is in the economy,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee. “A lot of the money is still not in it.”

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