The $ 916 billion stimulus package offered by the Trump government, which would send a $ 600 check to most Americans but eliminate the $ 300 weekly employment benefit, was declared unacceptable by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In a statement, Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin said he made the offer to Pelosi late Tuesday afternoon.
“We spoke with a Pelosi speaker today at 5 p.m., and on behalf of the president, I put forward a $ 916 billion proposal,” Mnuchin said in a statement. “This proposal includes money for state and local governments and responsible protection for businesses, schools and universities.”
He did not detail the details of the plan, but Kevin McCarthy, the house’s minority leader, told Bloomberg that the proposal included a $ 600 direct payment for individuals and $ 1,200 for couples – half the amount paid by Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CAREERS). ) Act of March.
Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s minority leader, said in a joint statement that the proposal was “progress,” but added that “ongoing bipartisan congressional talks should not be hindered.”
“Members of the House and Senate have conducted and continue to negotiate in good faith. The bipartisan talks represent the best hope for a bipartisan solution,” they said.
A part of the proposal that included a reduction in funding for unemployment benefits was also rejected as “unacceptable”.
“The president’s proposal begins by reducing the unemployment insurance proposal discussed by the bipartisan House of Representatives and Senate from $ 180 billion to $ 40 billion. That’s unacceptable,” the statement said.
According to Bloomberg, the White House proposal also extends two other expiring unemployment insurance programs – one for concert workers and one for workers who have exhausted their 13-week standard benefits.
Meanwhile, the bipartisan group is led by West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), among others, are working to raise lawmakers behind a $ 908 billion framework that includes a $ 300 a week pandemic. unemployment benefits and $ 160 billion for states and local governments.
Mnuchin said White House cabinet chief Mark Meadows, President Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and McCarthy reviewed the $ 916 billion bid to “name a slightly larger package than the bipartisan $ 908 billion proposal.” .
He said the plan will be funded with $ 140 billion of unused money from the Paycheck Protection Program and $ 429 billion from the Treasury Department.
“I look forward to concluding a bipartisan agreement to provide this critical economic relief to American works, families and businesses,” he said.
On Twitter, McConnell added: “The Senate knows all about the year-end drama, but this time the stakes can’t be higher. Americans are fighting under the weight of this pandemic. Democrats need to let Congress do our job in relief.
“We have so many points in common. Let’s make a law. Let’s do it.”
Correction: 9/12/2020 6:23 AM, ET: The previous version of the article title was incorrect with the stimulus package amount.