Politics

McConnell Says Senate Could Vote On Stimulus This Week

McConnell Says Senate Could Vote On Stimulus This Week

Six months after the Democrat-controlled House passed a $3.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, Senate Republicans say they are prepared to vote on their version as early as this week.

CNBC reported that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said the chamber will consider a targeted proposal focused on some economics, education and healthcare issues. His statement to the network did not specify what would be in the legislation.

Over the weekend, the Financial Times reported that as the unemployment rate fell to the single digits last week, hope for a compromise stimulus package may have disappeared.

The FT reported that when Congress returns this week, Republicans are expected to propose new stimulus legislation worth $500 billion, considerably less than the compromise Democrats may have considered. The network reports that it is unlikely the measure will receive the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate. In addition, Democratic leaders have signaled that it will not get support in the House.

In a joint statement issued on Tuesday (Sept. 8), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said that Senate Republicans appear dead-set on another bill that "doesn’t come close to addressing the problems and is headed nowhere."

“Democrats want to work on bipartisan legislation that will meet the urgent needs of the American people, but Republicans continue to move in the wrong direction,” they said.

In the negotiations, which have been stalled for more than a week, the Democratic leaders have asked the White House and the GOP to compromise with an aid package of $2.2 trillion, but the Republicans have declined to go beyond $1.3 trillion. 

Days after the $600 weekly federal jobless benefit expired, President Donald Trump signed an executive order providing up to $900 for the jobless who were collecting benefits in August.

More than 40 states have received approval to pay additional unemployment benefits to their residents, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

One of the major stumbling blocks to a deal is the Democrats’ insistence on $900 billion in aid for states and municipalities. But the White House has blamed the Democrats who run some of those cities and states for mismanagement, and has offered only $150 billion in new money. 

Last month, CNBC reported that some Americans who got smaller stimulus payments than they expected – or even none at all – should receive funds soon. The Internal Revenue Service said these “catch-up payments” will be made to about 50,000 people who didn’t receive the full amount because it was used to pay past-due child support. The payments will be issued in September.

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