Democrats want more money for virus relief

Democrats want more money for virus relief

Democrats want more money for virus relief

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was ready to roll out a $1 trillion package this week.

Washington is racing to complete a fifth round of legislation to address the ongoing, and still surging, coronavirus pandemic in the next three weeks.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wants to get a bill to President Trump by August 7 when Congress is scheduled to adjourn for the rest of the summer - a time when lawmakers traditionally hit the campaign trail in an election year.

Inside the lunch: The White House officials did little talking, Sen.

"Speaking of building on what worked in the CARES Act, we want another round of direct payments to help American families keep driving our national comeback", McConnell said on the Senate floor, referring to the 2.2 trillion-U.S. -dollar COVID-19 relief package passed in March, which included a one-time check of up to 1,200 dollars for individuals.

McConnell outlined other key components of the Senate Republican proposal for the next phase of COVID-19 legislation, the clearest outline of the Republican plan so far presented. "We need to find the right sort of middle ground".

Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the chairman of the Health committee, said, "All roads to opening school, going back to work, opening child care lead through testing".

McConnell did not offer any additional details Tuesday about who would be eligible for the payments or how large the checks might.

Trump has publicly backed a different set of demands.

In a meeting at the White House, House Minority Leader McCarthy said the Republican proposal would include a cut to the payroll tax. That could happen again, but there would likely be a lower income restriction on it.

To recap, the Trump administration wants a payroll tax to be part of a new stimulus bill. But after getting pushback from Senate Republicans on several issues, including the payroll tax cut, they were dialing back expectations.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer warned Monday his side will block any effort from McConnell that falls short.

McConnell, who has recently said the checks may not be as expansive as those in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, did not say how much the checks would be, or who would be eligible, CNN reported.

White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday that the administration is seeking "targeted" money for testing, saying that "we're willing to put in money for targeted testing that makes sense, not just dumping money into a pot that contains $10 billion".

The top House Republican, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, also voiced support for additional resources.

Besides advocating a second round of direct payments to Americans, he also said that he'll push for a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program "with a special eye for hard-hit industries".

McConnell and other GOP lawmakers have acknowledged that bipartisan negotiations will need to happen quickly if a deal is to be reached. Rand Paul of Kentucky said as he emerged. "I'm going to do everything I can to stop it", Scott said.

Democrats are proposing $US175 billion to help elementary and secondary schools cope with the pandemic and have said they are determined to fight for provisions in a $US3 trillion bill that passed the House in May and includes aid to state and local governments, extended unemployment insurance for displaced workers and protections for workers.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has declined to draw any red lines in the negotiations but has said Democrats are focused on supporting state and local governments, expanding testing, tracing and treatment, and delivering direct aid to people.

Pelosi's bill, approved in May, includes US$75 billion for testing and tracing to try to get a handle on the virus spread, funnels US$100 billion to schools to safely reopen and calls for US$1 trillion to be sent to cash-strapped states to pay essential workers and prevent layoffs.

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