- House Democrats unveiled a new $2.2 trillion stimulus plan that includes reviving the $600 federal unemployment benefits until the end of January and additional stimulus checks.
- It also includes funds for education, coronavirus testing, and contact tracing.
- State aid and federal unemployment benefits form two areas of friction between Republicans and Democrats.
- Relief negotiations have been deadlocked since early August.
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House Democrats unveiled late on Monday a new $2.2 trillion stimulus plan which includes reviving $600 federal unemployment benefits and a second round of stimulus checks for millions of American taxpayers.
The new proposal — still named the Heroes Act — comes after House Democrats passed a $3.4 trillion spending package in May. It initially formed the basis of their coronavirus relief negotiations with Republicans, though they have lowered their demands and now insist on at least $2.2 trillion in new spending.
Here are several of the package’s provisions:
- $600 federal unemployment benefits until January 31.
- Another round of $1,200 direct payments, plus $500 per dependent.
- $436 billion in additional assistance to state and local governments.
- Reinstating the Payroll Protection Program to aid small businesses as well as nonprofits and restaurants.
- $225 billion in funds to help schools.
- $75 billion for coronavirus testing and contact tracing.
Democrats and Republicans are deadlocked on further coronavirus relief measures. Negotiations in August stalled amid fierce disagreements over the amount of federal spending needed to prop up the economy. Unemployment benefits and state aid are two areas of friction between both parties.
A “skinny” $650 billion stimulus package from the GOP was blocked by Democrats earlier this month, who dismissed it as “emaciated” and inadequate to address the twin public health and economic crises.
Many economists have urged Congress to approve another relief package to keep people and businesses afloat through the pandemic and prevent the economy from backsliding. But the prospect of a Supreme Court nomination battle in the coming weeks has drained hopes of a package before Americans cast their ballots in November.