WASHINGTON (UPI) — Senate Republicans plan to introduce a $1 trillion coronavirus relief package on Monday that will include another stimulus payment for Americans and funds to help schools reopen.
After days of negotiating among GOP lawmakers and the White House, the Senate measure is expected to include a $1,200 stimulus payment, temporary and reduced unemployment benefits, funds to help schools reopen, $16 billion in funding for COVID-19 testing and tax incentives for companies to rehire employees.
Senators said they will unveil the bill on Monday afternoon.
The Trump administration is pushing to separate the unemployment portion and other aspects of the proposal if lawmakers can’t agree on a single, comprehensive bill.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Sunday they will take that course despite express opposition from Democratic leaders.
“Honestly, I see us being able to provide unemployment insurance, maybe a retention credit to keep people from being displaced or brought back into the workplace, helping with our schools,” Meadows told ABC’s This Week. “If we can do that along with liability protection, perhaps we put that forward and get that passed as we can negotiate on the rest of the bill in the weeks to come.”
Mnuchin said the second round of stimulus will reflect the same language used in the CARES Act in March that paid at least $1,200 to most Americans who earn as much as $75,000 per year.
An enhanced federal unemployment benefit that paid those who are out of work an extra $600 per week ran out on Saturday. As a replacement benefit, the GOP proposal would match unemployment benefits to about 70 percent of what a worker was making before they were laid off, Mnuchin said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer last week said the Republican plan is insufficient and rejected any move to individualize portions of the bill.
Mnuchin said the approach can be effective.
“This will be the fifth set of legislation,” he told Fox News Sunday. “So there’s no reason why we can’t have numbers 5, 6 and 7 as we need to deal with issues.”
“We have a few modifications that we’re looking for clarity on, but we’ve gotten those down to a handful that hopefully will be resolved,” Meadows added.
Reporting by Don Jacobson
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