Earlier this week, Senate Republicans proposed a “skinny” stimulus package, which would reduce unemployment benefits to $300 per week instead of $600.
In the words of Forbes, a number of Republicans have argued that the $600 weekly supplemental benefit provided under the CARES Act was “too generous and incentivized workers to stay at home instead of finding new employment.”
According to Politico, the $300 in unemployment benefits proposed in the package would last until December 27.
The “skinny” stimulus plan is an effort to solve the dispute between Democrats and Republicans, who are at a standstill over the parameters of a stimulus package. As Heavy previously reported, the initial Democratic proposal was a $3.4 trillion package, while the Senate GOP’s ideal plan came in at $1.1 million.
Earlier this month, Congress failed to reach its self-imposed August 7 deadline to agree on the terms of a package, and that weekend, President Donald Trump signed executive orders for a payroll tax cut, enhanced unemployment benefits, an eviction moratorium and student loan relief, according to Forbes.
Here’s what you need to know:
There Is No Stimulus Check Included in the ‘Skinny’ Proposal
Despite the fact that Republicans, Democrats and Trump have all voiced their support for another round of stimulus checks, the “skinny” stimulus bill does not include additional payments to struggling Americans, according to Bloomberg.
Newsweek reported, “It’s unclear why the new Republican plan would not include the direct payments, which President Donald Trump and his administration also support.”
The plan also leaves out assistance to state and local governments, according to Bloomberg.
At this time, while the plan has not officially been presented, it is circulating among Senate Republicans.
According to Bloomberg, the “skinny” plan could be part of a September “stopgap spending bill” that is needed to keep the government open after September 30.
Details of the ‘Skinny’ Plan
The narrowed-down “skinny” plan includes liability protections for businesses and health care providers and would “convert into a grant the $10 billion loan authorization provided to the Postal Service under the CARES Act stimulus law,” according to Bloomberg.
It would allot $100 billion to education and $10 billion to “bolster” the USPS, Newsweek reported.
At this point, it’s unclear if Democrats will agree to the proposal. The Senate is currently in recess until September 7, meaning it’s unlikely the details of a stimulus package will be ironed out before the fall.
On August 18, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that Democrats would be willing to compromise on a stimulus package by making more cuts to their proposal. At a Politico Playbook Event, Pelosi said, “We’re willing to cut our bill in half to meet the needs right now. We’ll take it up again in January.”
Yahoo reported that Pelosi is “eager to get a stimulus package through Congress before lawmakers next month have to take up a bill needed to keep the government running when the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has responded by saying, “I can’t tell you with certainty we’re going to reach an agreement,” according to Politico.
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