Republicans of GOP have released a proposal of an additional USD1 trillion to cope with the economic damage in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. The new stimulus includes $100 billion for schools and stimulus payments of up to $12,00 to American public. The proposal will now be negotiated between the GOP lawmakers and those from Democrats who have called it totally inadequate. United States has already used $2.4 trillion for its checker for the relief drive that floated billions of dollars in aid to small businesses and individual households but economists have called for more.
Senator Mitch McConnel said Republicans wanted to assess the effectiveness of existing programs and had now come up with a “tailored and targeted draft” to address the economic fallout brought by the novel coronavirus. The new package would truncate $600 weekly unemployment benefit supplement to $200 until state can introduce a more targeted mechanism that compensates for 70% of an individual’s wage.
The reduction reflects worries that the unemployment benefit supplement discourages workers from returning to work since an estimated two-thirds of recipients are receiving more from the benefit than they did with work.
Mr. McConnel said Republicans “want to continue” the unemployment supplement, that is expiring this week. “But we have to it in a way that does not slow down reopening.” He also said that the GOP representative also want to continue diverting money for direct payments to families and schools and are also planning to draft a legislation that would protect businesses form worker’s COVID-19 health claims.
Senator Chuck Schumer who represents opposition (Democrats) in Senate discussing the proposal made in house said it “was too little, too late”. The country since February 2020 has experienced a cut of 15 million jobs and the recovery is uncertain as virus caseload increases and some states return back to the restrictions. Nearly 1 in 5 US workers is gaining benefit from the unemployment supplement and more than half of adults dwell in households that have observed a drop in income according to a survey conduced by United States census.
“This is a serious, serious crisis,” Mr. Schumer said. “We are running out of time.”
Criticizing the move announced by Republicans, the Senator said 30% pay cut at this time when there is a big loss of jobs will not help states either to execute new system. He pointed to the problems that have affected the programs so far.
“It will delay benefits for weeks, if not months, as we slide into a greater degree of recession,” he said.
Democrats, who have floated their own USD 3 trillion plan are purposing for finances to local government which are facing a huge deficit due to lower economic activity. Many have opposed the scaling down of unemployment benefit. A proposal put forward by Republicans to provide shield to businesses form liability is also challenged by the Democrats.
“What we will not support is what they are saying to essential workers: ‘ You have to go to work because you are essential, e place no responsibility on your employer to make that workplace safe and if you get sick you have no recourse because we have given your employer protection,’” the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, said in a recent interview.
Some Republicans had proposed speeding up some parts of legislation however, the idea was rejected by Democrats, who saw the hastening as a way to brush aside their considerations. Mr. McConnel on Friday unveiled that he expected the negotiations to take a few weeks. The Republican is also expected to woo the GOP members who are afraid of the increase in debt and contest the new outflow of money.
“The answer to these challenges will not simply be shoveling cash out of Washington. The answer to these challenges will be getting people back to work,” said Senator Ted Cruz who represents Republicans in the house.