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House passes democratic aid law



House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends a television interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, USA, on September 29, 2020.

Erin Scott | Reuters

The House passed a $ 2.2 trillion Democratic coronavirus stimulus plan on Thursday evening despite the fact that the Democrats and the Trump administration struggled to close an aid deal.

The chamber approved the legislation with 21

4-207 votes. Eighteen Democrats voted against the move as lawmakers in competitive districts became increasingly concerned with the persistent deadlock in aid.

The bill is unlikely to come through the Republican Senate and become law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has spoken out against the legislation as his caucus refuses to spend trillions more on federal response to the pandemic.

The vote followed a conversation between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday in which they did not forge an aid agreement but agreed to continue the talks. They failed to bridge a chasm on a number of issues including how much aid to posting from state and local governments, and whether to put in place corporate and school liability coverage.

Earlier in the day, Pelosi downplayed the possibility that talks with Mnuchin this week were the last and best chance to approve further relief before the November 3rd elections. But it is now unclear what could move either side, as Democrats are calling for a comprehensive package to boost the economy and health care system, and the GOP is concerned about spending too much money on the response.

Congress hasn’t passed new bailouts in months as the country reports tens of thousands of new Covid-19 cases every day and massive companies plan new layoffs and vacation days. The additional $ 600 per week unemployment benefit, federal eviction moratorium, and paycheck protection program loan application window that were put in place to provide relief during the outbreak all expired weeks ago.

The democratic bill would:

  • Reinstate the weekly unemployment benefit of $ 600 per week through January
  • Send a second direct payment of $ 1,200 to most Americans
  • Give state and local governments $ 436 billion in relief over a year
  • Approve more cash for a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans for the hardest hit businesses and industries
  • Send $ 25 billion to airlines to cover labor costs
  • Invest $ 75 billion in Covid-19 testing and contact tracking efforts
  • Spend $ 225 billion on education and $ 57 billion on childcare
  • Provide billions in rental and mortgage assistance

Mnuchin countered the Democrats’ plan on Wednesday with a $ 1.6 trillion proposal, NBC News reported. According to NBC, $ 250 billion is for state and local aid, $ 400 per week for additional unemployment benefits, $ 150 billion for education, $ 75 billion for Covid-19 testing and contact tracing, and $ 60 billion for Dollars for rental and mortgage assistance included.

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