GOP to propose a smaller relief bill

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Republicans are working on a narrower coronavirus stimulus bill than they could communicate to members of Congress as early as this week, two senior administration officials and three people briefed on the matter told CNBC.The GOP is mulling over a roughly $ 500 billion proposal that only addresses areas of bipartisan support: expanded unemployment insurance, new authorization for small business loans and money for schools and testing, the Covid-19 treatment and vaccines. The plan would not include another direct payment to Americans.

He would set the enhanced unemployment benefits at around $ 300 to $ 400 per week. The figure is said to be lower than the $ 600 a week approved in March, which Democrats want to restore after it expires at the end of July.

While Republicans appear determined to put more pressure on Democrats, the legislation is unlikely to become law. House of Commons Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Still has no plans to revive stalled pandemic aid talks with the White House until the GOP agrees to double the Its existing proposal was priced at around $ 1 trillion, spokesman Drew Hammill said on Wednesday.

“Democrats have compromised in these negotiations. We proposed to drop $ 1 trillion if the White House went up $ 1 trillion. We welcome the White House back to the negotiating table, but they must meet with us halfway, ”he said.

Previously, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Politico he asked his staff to “contact” Pelosi’s office on Tuesday. Hammill said an aide to Meadows did not mention the prospect of resuming negotiations.

Meadows said he expected Pelosi to hold out until the end of September, when Congress faces a deadline to avoid government shutdown, to try to secure the relief arrangements they want. in a bill.

Congress has failed to pass legislation to address the overlapping health and economic crises, even after the financial lifelines for Americans expired. An additional unemployment allowance of $ 600 per week, a federal moratorium on evictions, and the Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Loan Window have all expired.

While new coronavirus infections in the United States have slowed, the country still typically reports tens of thousands of cases per day in a sprint to create more effective Covid-19 treatment and vaccine. Despite three months of rapid employment gains in the wake of historic job losses, the US unemployment rate still exceeded 10% in July.

Sticking points between the Trump administration and Democrats include how much aid to send to state and local governments, how much money to send to schools to adjust for physical reopening during the pandemic or distance learning and whether to maintain weekly unemployment benefits of $ 600.

President Donald Trump took executive action this month to allow states to temporarily extend supplementary unemployment benefits by at least $ 300 per week. Most states have opted for the program, but the redirected funding from the executive is only expected to last a few weeks.

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