Negotiations between Republicans and Democrats are expected to increase in the next two weeks, with the intention of framing legislation to address the issues of the virus.
Chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin traveled on July 21 to meet with Senate Republicans over lunch and then with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. They sought to negotiate the CCP Virus bill.
The Republican bloc, represented by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, proposed that the new law should include $1 billion in spending. While the Democrats propose spending three times that amount. According to Fox News.
After July, people who receive unemployment insurance will no longer receive an additional $600 per week from the government unless negotiations are unlocked and the law is implemented before that date. Lawmakers will have to work hard to resolve a number of differences over how best to structure the bill, which should include liability protections for businesses, assistance for state and local governments, direct payments to individuals, and rental and mortgage assistance.
As reported by media outlets such as CNBC, Democrats are proposing a comprehensive package of measures and resources to provide additional help to unemployed workers, extra payments to essential workers, assistance to state and local governments with budget problems, and subsidies to delinquent tenants and homeowners.
Republicans proposed an option with strong tax incentives aimed at encouraging people to return to work and school, along with extensive protections for businesses and doctors during the pandemic.
McConnell told reporters Tuesday that he will introduce a bill in the next few days that will serve as a starting point for talks with Democrats, and that it has the support of the majority of the Republican bloc. The bill would have its basis in:
- Specific incentives to encourage businesses to hire and retain workers
- A special allocation of $105 billion would be made for the reopening of schools
- A second round of the paycheck protection program, focusing on the companies most affected
- Funding for vaccine development, testing and hospitals
- Tax incentives to help businesses pay for personal protective equipment and other measures must operate safely
Before the Republicans can reach an agreement with the Democrats, they need to define a consensus within the party itself. President Trump has insisted on an income tax exemption. But when McConnell was asked at a press conference Tuesday if such an exemption is feasible, he said there are still some differences of opinion on the issue of income tax reduction.
The $600 unemployment benefit is perhaps the biggest problem that remains to be solved. Republicans argue that it discourages people from returning to work because many people earn more at home than in their jobs. Senate Democrats have proposed linking assistance to state unemployment rates, so that it is automatically reduced as states recover, but not withdrawn until the economy is normalized.
Clearly, we have two weeks of intense debate and negotiation ahead of us before we can agree on a law that requires immediacy and practicality to solve structural problems caused by the CCP Virus.