(FamilyRetirementClub.com)- Congress will start debating the details of another economic stimulus package as early as next week, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is confident a deal can get done.
But the leader of the Democratic Party in the House said the dollar amount of the package has to be higher than what Republicans have initially proposed. On Thursday, she said:
“They (Republicans) know there’s going to be a bill … First, it was going to be no bill. And then it was going to be some little bill. Now, it’s $1.3 [trillion]. That’s not enough.”
In May, the House passed its version of the next stimulus package, which totaled $3 trillion. Included in that legislation was another round of direct payments to Americans, continued support to unemployment insurance, more funding for the health-care industry, plus support for state and local governments.
When the bill passed, Republican leaders immediately shot down the notion of another spending bill of that size, saying it wasn’t necessary. Then, as job reports in May and June showed promising signs, party leaders urged caution and said direct payments may not be necessary.
But as states across the country have experienced surges of coronavirus cases in recent weeks, the need for more direct economic support has come to the forefront. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would support some form of direct payments, and President Donald Trump said he would, too.
Pelosi said more direct payments would be “so essential” to Americans. She said:
“This is urgent. They need to buy food. These are necessities. And when people use that money for necessities, they inject demand into the economy and create jobs. So, it is a stimulus, but it’s more than a stimulus — it’s a necessity right now.”
House and Senate members return to Washington, D.C., from a recess next week, and they are expected to get started on crafting the details of the next stimulus package almost right away. There is pressure for a bill to be finalized before Congress goes on its typical August recess. Pelosi, for one, is confident that a deal can get done, but she said she’s willing to cancel that recess if more time is needed to pass a bill.
“I have no doubt they’ll come around,” Pelosi said of Republicans.
There will definitely be sticking points between Republicans and Democrats. For one, there is an initial huge gap between the House’s $3 trillion sum and the Republican’s unwillingness to go much about $1 trillion. Then, there are the details of what’s to be included.
Democrats want to boost the direct payments to Americans — increased money for dependent children from $500 to $1,200. They also want to extend the $600 per-week federal boost to unemployment benefits that’s set to expire at the end of July. They want to help local and state governments with $1 trillion in aid. And they want to provide assistance to homeowners and renters who could soon be facing eviction.
Republicans, meanwhile, have long touted the need for liability protection for businesses and doctors. Democrats have balked at this in the past, but Pelosi recently said they could be open to the idea.