McConnell Says More Direct Cash Payments Likely Coming This Summer

McConnell Says More Direct Cash Payments Likely Coming This Summer

McConnell's package may also send a fresh round of direct $1,200 cash payments to Americans below a certain income level, likely $75,000, and create a sweeping five-year liability shield against coronavirus lawsuits.

The House of Representatives in May had passed a new 3-trillion-dollar coronavirus relief package, but it was proposed by Democrats and was not likely to gain approval from the Republican-held Senate. But the administration panned more virus testing money and interjected other priorities that could complicate quick passage. "Well, those who go back to work are getting the salary".

Easing the payroll tax is dividing Trump's party because it does little to help out-of-work Americans and adds to the debt load.

Trump insisted again on Sunday that the virus would "disappear", but the President's view did not at all match projections from the leading health professionals straining to halt the alarming US caseload and death toll.

The political stakes are high for both parties before the November election, and even more so for the nation, as amid the virus crisis and economic fallout.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has repeatedly urged Congress to take up infrastructure legislation, did not include roads, bridges and highways in a laundry list of relief priorities it sent to Capitol Hill last week, The New York Times reported over the weekend.

One lawmaker described the lunch as "messy" and said they still "have a lot of work to do".

On a conference call with the nation's governors Monday, Pence called the rising numbers in Sunbelt states "serious".

McConnell's remarks came as USA lawmakers are under huge pressure to craft a new fiscal package, including further aid to households and businesses, before a looming deadline for enhanced unemployment benefits.

"The United States of America was not built for a defensive crouch", McConnell said.

Democratic leaders said the Republicans are in disarray, and Pelosi later blamed the pandemic's mounting toll on the president's inaction.

"Republicans embracing the next round of checks is a stark turnaround from recent months, where several GOP senators said they were either opposed or not convinced of the need for more checks", The Hill writes.

Republicans are pressing for a $1 trillion package; Democrats have already approved a $3 trillion bill, pushing for extensions of supplemental unemployment insurance and a boost to state and local governments hit with unprecedented budget shortfalls in the wake of the pandemic. "But maintaining the Senate is an urgent imperative for the G.O.P.: A Democratic Senate could offer a glide path for liberal Supreme Court nominees from a President Biden, or block Mr. Trump's judges if he won a second term". Testing is seen as the best way to track the virus to contain its spread.

Senate Democrats began investigating why the Trump administration has left nearly half the testing money unspent.

Trump's renewed focus on therapeutics and a vaccine is falling flat among lawmakers who understand that any COVID-19 cures remain months, if not a year, from widespread distribution in the U.S. The federal government is still struggling to provide basic medical supplies and personal protective equipment to health care providers.

Specifically, the group called for the investment tax credit (ITC) and production tax credit (PTC) to be made refundable, echoing a call last week from the solar sector (Greenwire, July 13).

The proposed virus aid package would be the fifth, following the $2.2 trillion bill passed in March, the largest USA intervention of its kind.

The first round of virus aid is running out.

With 17 straight weeks of unemployment claims topping 1 million - usually about 200,000 - many households were facing a cash crunch and losing employer-backed health insurance coverage. "Unemployment also remains stuck in the double digits". The measure would give cash stipends to Americans, and bolster rental and mortgage and other safety net protections.

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