Senate Republicans’ new coronavirus relief bill — expected to be released Monday afternoon — will include $1,200 direct payment checks, according to White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow.
“There’s a $1,200 check coming,” Kudlow said on CNN Monday. “That is going to be part of the new package. I would have preferred a payroll tax cut on top of that check, but be that as it may, politically it doesn’t work.”
The GOP package will also include tax credits for small businesses, Kudlow explained. “It’s a very well-rounded package. It’s a very well-targeted package, and it’s going to provide a great safety net until we get strong recovery.”
Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Monday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that Republicans are “dithering. They’re divided.”
Democrats “passed our very comprehensive bill [the Heroes Act], bold, helping average American families close to two and a half months ago. We still don’t have the proposal from the Republicans,” Schumer explained.
On NPR’s Morning Edition, Schumer said the GOP proposal “keeps changing,” adding: “There are leaks here — we may do this, we may do that, we may do this. [Sen.] Lindsey Graham yesterday said half the Republicans are not going to vote for any stimulus package.”
Democrats, Schumer added, “proposed 10 weeks ago a comprehensive plan including dealing with unemployment insurance, extending the existing benefit to Jan. 31, and Republicans are in such disarray and dithering. The president has no idea of what to do that we don’t know what their plan is.”
Latest Details of Proposal
The Senate Republican proposal is said to cost $1 trillion and to include $105 billion for schools, as well as a more targeted round of forgivable small business loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.
As to unemployment benefits, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Friday, “We’re not going to pay people more to stay home than to work, so we’re looking at something that looks like a 70% wage replacement.”
Senate Republicans proposal includes cutting supplemental unemployment benefits to $200 weekly from $600 until states are able to create a system that would provide 70% of a laid-off worker’s previous pay, according to people familiar with the plan, Bloomberg and The Washington Post reported at mid-day Monday.
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in reaction to the new GOP benefits cut that “Republicans had four months to come up with a plan, but are just now rolling out an unworkable proposal that would slash benefits.”
Thirty million Americans, Wyden said, “have relied on these benefits to pay rent and buy groceries, and Republicans are absolutely indifferent to the human suffering they are causing.”
Republicans’ plan, Wyden added, “would also be devastating to the broader economy.”
He pointed to a Friday report by the Economic Policy Institute, which argues that cutting the federal boost from $600 to $200 would cost the economy 3.4 million jobs.
The enhanced unemployment insurance benefit under the GOP plan had been reportedly set to be about $400 per month, or $100 a week, through the rest of the year.
The current federal benefit of $600 per week is set to expire at the end of July. The payment is in addition to state jobless benefits.