NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINargentinaARGENTINAchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOperuPERUlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA

CORONAVIRUS

Second stimulus check: why the Democrats may reject the HEALS Act?

U.S. Republicans and Democrats face difficult talks on how best to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, after Republicans unveiled a new relief proposal.

Update:
Washington (United States), 22/07/2020.- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responds to a question from the news media as he walks to his office from the Senate Floor in the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 22 July 2020. Senate Majority Leader Mitch
SHAWN THEWEFE

U.S. Republicans and Democrats faced difficult talks on Tuesday on how best to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, after Republicans unveiled a relief proposal four days before millions of Americans lose unemployment benefits.

Senate Republicans announced on Monday a $1 trillion coronavirus aid package hammered out with the White House, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted as a "tailored and targeted" plan to reopen schools and businesses, while protecting companies from lawsuits.

But the proposal sparked immediate opposition from both Democrats and Republicans. Democrats decried it as too limited compared with their $3 trillion proposal that passed the House of Representatives in May. Some Republicans called it too expensive.

The plan would give many Americans direct payments of $1,200 each, provide billions in loans to small businesses and help schools reopen.

But it would slash the current expanded unemployment benefit from the $600 per week in addition to state unemployment, which expires on Friday, to $200.

The supplemental benefit has been a financial lifeline for laid-off workers and a key support for consumer spending.

Democrats position

Democrats quickly denounced the cuts as draconian when millions of Americans cannot return to shuttered workplaces and said the $200 suggestion is insufficient and would damage the economy, but were ready to negotiate.

"We're prepared to discuss this," Representative Steny Hoyer, the no. 2 House Democrat, said on CNN.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 27: Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) reads a program inside of the U.S. Capitol Rotunda prior to a memorial to honor Rep. John Lewis in Washington, D.C. on July 27, 2020
Full screen
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 27: Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) reads a program inside of the U.S. Capitol Rotunda prior to a memorial to honor Rep. John Lewis in Washington, D.C. on July 27, 2020Michael A. McCoyAFP

The partisan dispute comes as U.S. coronavirus cases have passed 4.3 million, with nearly 150,000 people killed in the country, and tens of millions out of work.

The Democratic-led House in May passed its $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill known as the "HEROES Act," but the Republican-led Senate refused to consider it.

McConnell acknowledged that the Republican "HEALS Act" was just a starting point that would need bipartisan support, telling a news conference: "We can't pass a bill in the Senate without Democrats."

Rules

To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?