Unemployment assistance, eviction protections and other relief for millions of Americans are at stake as White House officials launch negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a new coronavirus aid package that’s teetering in Congress ahead of looming deadlines.
While Senate Republicans struggled to roll out their own $1 trillion proposal, Pelosi implored the White House and GOP lawmakers to stop the infighting and come to the negotiating table with Democrats. Aid runs out Friday for a $600 weekly jobless benefit that Democrats call a lifeline for out-of-work Americans. Republican want to slash it to $200 a week, saying that the federal bump is too generous on top of state benefits and is discouraging employees from returning to work. The proposal provides some $105 billion to schools and colleges, the K-12 funds tilted toward campuses that reopen with in-person learning. There’s more money for virus testing, $15 billion for child care centers and benefits for businesses, including a fresh round of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, tax breaks and a sweeping liability shield from COVID-19-related lawsuits.
The Republican proposal would also provide another round of $1,200 direct payments based on the same formula from the earlier aid bill. People making $75,000 or less would receive the full amount, with the benefit phased out for those earning above $99,000, or double for married couples filing joint taxes.
Today on AirTalk, we discuss what’s in the proposal and what it could mean for individuals who are unemployed and the country’s economy.
With files from the Associated Press
Shana Charles, assistant professor at the Department of Public Health at California State University Fullerton; former director of Health Insurance Studies at UCLA Center for Health Policy Research