CORONAVIRUS

Second stimulus check: Republican coronavirus relief bill, will it include a new round of checks?

The U.S. Senate was set to vote on Thursday on a Republican bill providing around $300 billion in new coronavirus aid, far below the $3 trillion Democrats insist is needed.

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Second stimulus check: Republican coronavirus relief bill, will it include a new round of checks?
KEVIN LAMARQUE REUTERS

The U.S. Senate will vote on Thursday on a Republican bill providing around $300 billion in new coronavirus aid, far below the $3 trillion Democrats insist is needed to stimulate an ailing economy and help people struggling through the pandemic.

In what could be the final vote on coronavirus relief in Congress before the Nov. 3 presidential and congressional elections, Republicans and Democrats appeared to be deadlocked over the next steps in responding to a virus that has killed more than 190,000 people in the United States and nearly 900,000 globally.

Doubts surrounding 'skinny' bill

Some Republican senators expressed doubts on Wednesday that a compromise coronavirus bill would emerge quickly if McConnell's latest "skinny" bill is rejected on Thursday in the Republican-controlled chamber.

Mitch McConnell speaks at the U.S. Capitol in WashingtonSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters after the Senate Republican luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington U.S., September 9 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

New bill proposals

Republicans presented a new slimmed-down coronavirus relief bill earlier this week, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stating the new “targeted” bill would “focus on some of the very most urgent health care, education, and economic issues.”

McConnell said the new package could be put to vote as early as Thursday, as Congress scramble to pass a bill before the federal budget deadline on 31 September.

According to Fox News, the new package has allocated $500 billion to federal aid and includes an extra $300-per-week in unemployment benefits through 27 December, which is $300 less than the $600 unemployment benefits boost that was passed under the previous CARES Act and expired at the end of July.

A second round of Paycheck Protection Program funds to small businesses worth $258 billion, and $105 billion for schools and colleges have also been included in the new Republican bill. The new bill, however, does not include provisions for a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks.

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