Coronavirus stimulus: House to vote on HEROES Act 2.0 as President Trump pushes for a deal
Parliament is expected to vote on a $ 2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package or scaled-down version of the HEROES bill on Thursday to formalize the Democrats' updated stimulus offer, while President Trump tells his negotiators to do more Compromise to find a deal.
The White House proposal is currently $ 1.6 trillion, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who led the negotiations on behalf of the White House, returned to the negotiating table after a bipartisan group of Members of the House known as the "Problem Solvers Caucus" issued a 1.5 stimulus package in mid-September Proposed trillion dollars.
"The president instructed us to come up significantly, so we got out of the trillion dollar deal," Mnuchin told Fox Business on Wednesday evening.
Pelosi and Mnuchin are expected to continue negotiations on Thursday. If they reach an agreement, the HEROES law will likely be updated to the agreed terms.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, holds her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 1, 2020. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP)
In March, Congress passed the CARES bill, which gave impetus to Americans and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting recession. Many of these benefits have now expired, and the latest version of the HEROES law aims to expand some - such as additional unemployment benefits - to support state and local governments, businesses and schools, among others. However, the two parties haven't been able to reach an agreement on the economic agreement for months, leaving the Americans with limited government support in August and September.
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The updated HEROES bill is lower than the original $ 3.4 trillion proposal published in the spring and never taken up by the Senate. The scaled-down version includes $ 436 billion for state and local governments, $ 282 billion for education and childcare, a second round of $ 1,200 economic reviews, and an additional $ 600 in unemployment benefits through January, among other things.
"I hope we will vote on it today," House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Said at a press conference Thursday. "I hope the House will vote on the HEROES bill because it is really important that people see that we fully identify with the concerns they have."
US President Donald Trump and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speak to the press in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on July 2, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM) WATSON / AFP via Getty Images)
The GOP question
The updated HEROES bill still costs around $ 600 billion more than Mnuchin and the president's proposal. The $ 2.2 trillion price opens an even bigger gap when compared to the recent Republican proposal, which was valued at around $ 300 billion and was rejected in the Senate.
Some Republican lawmakers expressed concern about the high price tag of the White House proposal soon after it was ratified.
"How much wasteful expenditure do we have to swallow for it?" Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex) told Fox News Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Told reporters Wednesday that the two parties were "very, very far apart," referring to the updated HEROES bill as "another billion dollar wish list far left with practically everyone. " same non-COVID-related poison pills as their last dubious bill. "
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters after the weekly Republicans lunch at the Hart Senate office building on Capitol Hill on September 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
At the same time, McConnell previously said the GOP would obey any deal made by the White House and the Democrats.
The two parties also disagree on the key provisions of a deal, including funding for state and local government, funding for supplemental unemployment benefits, and tax credits.
"[We're] a long way off in terms of state and local governments," Pelosi said. "We're getting closer to the money for our preventive healthcare in the bill."
"Our talks will continue"
With Congress on hiatus on October 2nd and many lawmakers leaving Washington DC to run for their upcoming election, pressure to reach an agreement mounts. Mnuchin hopes that the two parties can “understand an overall package” by Thursday.
After meeting Pelosi for 90 minutes on Wednesday, Mnuchin said they had made great strides in their discussions on the economic agreement but had not yet reached an agreement.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin leaves the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., At the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. (Photo by Caroline Brehman / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
"We don't have an agreement yet, but we have more work to do," said Mnuchin. "We'll see where we end up."
Pelosi, who had previously dismissed the mid-sized $ 1.5 trillion proposal as insufficient, said negotiations will continue.
"Secretary Mnuchin and I had an extensive discussion and we have identified areas where we are looking for further clarification." Pelosi said in a statement after meeting Mnuchin on Wednesday. "Our talks will continue."
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Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.
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