U.S. government officials have proposed three new coronavirus relief package ideas that aimed to provide financial support to victims of the pandemic before the end of the year, but not one has made significant progress in being passed into law.
A group of Democratic and Republican senators have allied themselves and proposed a massive $908 billion “framework” that shows the most promise. The proposal would include an additional four months of unemployment benefits, giving jobless workers $300 every week, allowing small businesses to take out forgivable loans, and several more.
However, the new coronavirus relief package idea would not include a second stimulus check that most Americans were hoping for. Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine said, “We recognize that families all across America are struggling, that businesses are closing, that hospitals are overwhelmed.” She explained the dire need of the nation for a new emergency relief package.
However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly rejected the massive proposal, arguing that politicians did not have the luxury of creating packages that President Donald Trump is guaranteed to reject. McConnell allegedly floated the idea of a third revision to his smaller-sized relief package, which has previously failed to pass twice in the Senate and by rejected by Democrats.
There were also reports of House Democrats submitting a new proposal of their own to McConnell, but there is little information about the package. However, if the funding is worth at least $1 trillion, there is a high risk that the Senate Majority Leader would bring it up to discuss in the Senate.
The final session of the Congressional term of the Senate and House of Representatives for the year came after one of the country’s deadliest weeks since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. The United States recorded double the number of total cases in November compared to the previous month. Experts predict the nation to report about 294,000 to 321,000 coronavirus deaths by December 19.
The chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, Mark Zandi, said the U.S. economy would suffer greatly until the release of a new fiscal rescue package. He said, “If lawmakers can’t get it together, it will be very difficult for the economy to avoid going back into a recession.”
The House of Representatives has only nine official in-session days left, while the Senate has only 14 days before they close chambers for the rest of the year. In order to successfully pass a new relief package into law, Congress would have to work overtime during discussions to go through the entire process of approving a proposal, CNET reported.
For months, talks of a new coronavirus relief package have been delayed despite continued attempts to provide financial support to the American people. While both parties agree on the need for a new relief aid, politicians disagree on the size and scope.
During a press conference on Tuesday, McConnel said the only way to pass a bill into law is to have the U.S. president approve and sign it. He said that the first thing politicians needed to focus on was what kind of package Trump would be willing to push forward. McConnell added, “I think the one thing we all agree on is we don’t have time for messaging games, we don’t have time for lengthy negotiations.”
President-elect Joe Biden has repeatedly urged Congress to pass a coronavirus relief package arguing that Americans were suffering amid the pandemic. If Congress does not pass a bill into law before early January, it could take until later that month when Biden is officially seated as president for a new relief aid to be discussed, U.S. News reported.