A NEW $1trillion coronavirus relief bill – with $1,200 stimulus checks and more support for adult dependents – was unveiled today by Republicans.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced over the weekend that an "entire plan" has been finalized – providing Americans with aa second round of stimulus checks.
Brought forward on Monday afternoon, the plan includes another $1,200 stimulus check with additional benefits for adult dependents, $200 in additional unemployment benefits, more money for schools, testing, treatment and liability protections.
The decreased benefits is reportedly meant to act like a "bridge" to moving to capping unemployment benefits at 70% of initial wages.
"The administration and the Senate Republicans are completely on the same page," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said about the plan Sunday on Fox News.
Economic adviser Larry Kudlow promised on CNN's State of the Union: "There's a $1,200 check coming – that is going to be part of the new package."
He called the package "very well rounded."
“The check is there, the reemployment bonus is there. The retention bonus is there," Kudlow explained.
"There will be breaks, tax credits for small businesses and restaurants."
Despite Republicans and Democrats previously being unable to agree on what policies should be included in a new stimulus package, Mnuchin remained optimistic.
"We can move very quickly with the Democrats on these issues," Mnuchin said Sunday on Fox News.
"We’ve moved quickly before and I see no reason why we can’t move quickly again.
“And if there are issues that take longer, we’ll deal with those as well."
The Trump administration's chief negotiators, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, spent the weekend on Capitol Hill to put what Meadows described as final touches on the second economic relief bill.
Meadows said the White House was looking for clarity on a handful of remaining issues with Republicans, but they had yet to talk to McConnell.
"We have an agreement in principle," Meadow said.
More than 146,000 Americans have died of Covid-19 – nearly a quarter of the global total – and there are nearly 4.2million confirmed cases in the country, a rate of one infection in 79 people.
Negotiations with Democrats have yet to begin with billions at stake and deadlines looming.
Separately, Kudlow said a federal eviction moratorium on millions of rental units will be extended.
"We will lengthen it," he said, without specifying for how long.
Roughly five per cent of renters missed their full rent payments for April, May, and June due to the pandemic, the National Multifamily Housing Council says.
Republicans, meanwhile, have argued that federal jobless benefits should be trimmed.
They say the combination of state and federal unemployment assistance has left many people better off financially than they were before the pandemic and therefore disinclined to return to their jobs.
But many Democrats contend that a lot of people don't feel safe going back to work when the coronavirus is surging again around the country.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the Republicans of being "in disarray and that delay is causing suffering for America's families."
The White House and Senate Republicans were racing to regroup after plans to introduce a $1trillion virus rescue bill collapsed last Thursday during GOP infighting over its size, scope and details.
It was expected to bring $105billion to help schools reopen, new money for virus testing and benefits for businesses, including a fresh round of loans, tax breaks and a sweeping liability shield from Covid-19-related lawsuits.
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