WASHINGTON – After more than seven months of negotiations, Republicans and Democrats in Congress are on the verge of passing a $ 900 billion coronovirus relief bill and both sides claim victory, blaming each other for delays in getting additional relief for Americans. are doing.
The 3.3 trillion bills Democrats passed in May are coming up much lower than the House Democrats, which included nearly $ 1 trillion in federal funding for state and local governments. The bill, scheduled for late voting on Monday, would not include any funding for states, a top democratic priority. It would also exclude the Republican preference for liability protection for businesses from Kovid-19 related lawsuits.
The Kovid-19 relief is part of a larger government money bill.
Both parties are playing in their respective regions to win.
Senate Democrats pointed to funding for under-represented groups such as Native American and minority communities. House Republicans insisted on a limit for unspecified immigrants and benefits of food stamp payments.
White House spokesman Ben Williamson said on Monday, President Donald Trump said at one point that he supported an even greater aid package.
While the bill would renew government aid programs that were going to expire at the end of the year, Democrats insist that settlement legislation will not be enough and they will begin a second round of aid when they return in January.
President-Elect Joe Biden called the bill a “significant down payment”, suggesting that he would propose another round of relief funds once in office.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s on the bill:
Extended unemployed benefits
The bill revives supplemental federal unemployment insurance benefits, giving an additional $ 300 per week to those receiving state unemployment benefits, a top priority for Democrats.
This is less than the $ 600 a week Congress approved in March but expires in July. Republicans had opposed an inquiry into increased unemployment, arguing that liberal payments are turning people away from seeking work.
The bill expands a program for self-employed and gig-economy workers that provides an additional week of unemployment insurance, and includes an additional benefit of $ 100 per week for some workers, both with self-employment. -Also do a salaried job. Farmers and ranchers who have been affected by the epidemic will also receive $ 13 billion in aid.
Democrats claimed victory for a $ 13 billion increase in the SNAP food ticket program, while Republicans insisted the benefit increase would be limited to six months and did not extend eligibility.
Direct payment, rent assistance
The federal government is distributing another round of direct payment checks, this time with an amount of $ 600 to $ 75,000 per year and $ 600 for individuals making pairs up to $ 1,200 per year, plus $ 600 for each dependent child. Will pay Democrat and Republican.
The CARES Act, passed in March, sent $ 1,200 to individuals and $ 2,400 to the couple. This time, Senate Democrats said on Sunday, the bill would include “a provision to extend direct payments to mixed-status homes, which is significantly providing immigrant families across the country for this financial relief.” The previous round was criticized when people marrying legal immigrants were unable to receive checks.
But Republicans also claimed a win, saying they “ensured security to prevent illegal aliens from paying” according to a memo by Republican Whip Rep. Steve Scalise.
On January 31, 2021, Democrats and Republicans said that $ 25 billion would have to be paid for rental assistance to cover past due rents, future rent payments and utility bills, as well as an extension of the current CDC removal moratorium by January 31, 2021 Possible
Support for small business
The bill includes $ 284 billion for first- and second-time loans through the Paycheck Protection Program that provides forgiveness loans to small businesses. The program was widely used during the first round and was avoided by both Republicans and Democrats.
The bill expanded the program to include nonprofit organizations and local news organizations, and an additional $ 20 billion grant for business in low-income communities.
Democrats said the bill provided $ 15 billion for live entertainment venue, cultural institutions and independent movie theaters. Republicans praised their efforts to make churches and faith-based organizations eligible for loans and unions are excluded from receiving any federal support.
In a Republican victory, the spending bill again includes language that prevents the Security and Exchange Commission from publicly telling companies that they contribute money for political reasons, some This is what the Democrats are doing to the Wall Street watchdog.
The bill would allocate $ 20 billion for the purchase of additional vaccines and about $ 8 billion for vaccine distribution, Democrats and Republicans said. The bill would also send about $ 22 billion to states for testing, tracing and mitigation programs.
More than $ 3 billion will go to strategic national reserves, responsible for building the federal government’s reserves of protective equipment necessary to respond to an epidemic.
Democrats said they pushed for additional funding for mental health services, assistance for health care providers, and to secure additional research into COVID-19. Republicans said the bill would specifically include $ 4 billion for substance abuse.
School, child care, museum
One of the biggest beneficiaries will be schools, which will receive $ 82 billion, most of which will go to primary and secondary schools. There will be $ 23 billion for colleges and universities.
Democrats said the bill would pay $ 1.7 billion for historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and institutions. Republicans and Democrats said an additional $ 10 billion would go to childcare services to help care for children and pay for child carers.
In a victory for the Democrats, the legislation would provide funding for a new museum focused on American Latino as part of the Smithsonian.
The bill would also include some funding for the transportation industry, including $ 15 billion for airlines to pay their workers. It is expected to help some of the 32,000 American airline employees in October, following a six-month $ 25 billion bailout in late September.
It also includes $ 14 billion for mass transit programs that have seen revenue decline along with revenue declines, an additional $ 10 billion for state highways and $ 1 billion for Amtrak, Democrats and Republicans.
The ability for distance education students to access high-speed Internet has been an issue in the epidemic and the bill includes a $ 7 billion broadband fund. It will also provide $ 300 million for rural broadband and $ 250 million for telehealth.
Not directly related to the epidemic, the bill would amount to $ 2 billion “to replace foreign-made broadband devices that pose a threat to national security,” Scalise said in his memo to House Republicans.