Tuesday, 27 Oct 2020

House Democrats unveil new $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief proposal

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Photo: Liz Lynch/Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday unveiled House Democrats' new $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief proposal.

Why it matters: Negotiations with the Trump administration have stalled since the House passed its $3 trillion HEROES Act in May. The pared-down bill, which is $200,000 smaller than Democrats' most recent proposal, is part of Pelosi's last-ditch effort to strike a deal with the White House.

  • The updated proposal includes funding for schools, small businesses, restaurants, airline workers and more, and "serves as our proffer to Republicans to come to negotiations to address the health and economic catastrophe in our country," Pelosi said in a statement.
  • The proposal was unveiled minutes before Pelosi was set to have a call with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The two top negotiators agreed to speak again on Tuesday morning, according to a top Pelosi aide.

Details: Among other measures, the bill earmarks $75 billion in funding for coronavirus testing contact tracing and isolation measures, "with special attention to the disparities facing communities of color,"

  • The bill updates the Paycheck Protection Program "to serve the smallest businesses and struggling non-profits, providing hard-hit businesses with second loans, and delivering targeted assistance for the struggling restaurant industry and independent live venue operators."
  • It also includes a second round of $1,200 payments per taxpayer and $500 per dependent, while extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through January.
  • It provides $436 billion for a year’s worth of help to state, local, territorial and tribal governments to pay first responders and health workers.

What to watch: Pelosi has frequently said that Democrats would be willing to drop $1 trillion from the HEROES Act if Republicans would come up $1 trillion. In July, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed a roughly $1 trillion bill that was dismissed by Democrats as a "half-hearted, half-baked legislative proposal."

  • "Democrats are making good on our promise to compromise with this updated bill," Pelosi wrote.

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