What Congress is proposing in the next coronavirus eradication package

The proposed agreement focuses on unemployment benefits, support for small businesses, and other targeted assistance rather than all U.S. direct payments — despite progressive members of Congress and Republican Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri at the last minute, an additional 1,200 to support a dollar deposit round.

The group, which started parts of its bill on Wednesday, is trying to keep the cost of the package below $ 1 trillion to get Republican support. Incentive payments could cost at least $ 300 billion, depending on how many people would be eligible and how much they would send.

Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin’s White House proposal, submitted late Tuesday, included a $ 600 direct payment, but an additional $ 300 a week in unemployment benefits. Legislators on both sides see these benefits as essential and have said that rejection in exchange for direct payments is not essential.

Congress is working to achieve something before the end of the year when more aid programs it approved in March expire, including two other key epidemic-free unemployment relief measures and eviction protection. With increasing signs of economic downturn, the pressure has never been greater.
The bipartisan group continues to elaborate on the details, particularly with regard to public funding and employer accountability – and party leaders still have to agree to vote on the floor. As of Wednesday, the bipartisan proposal includes:

Unemployment benefits

The unemployed would receive $ 300 a week for 16 weeks – from late December to April – according to the deal. The amount is half of the previous federal top-up, which ran out at the end of July.

In addition, the agreement calls for a 16-week extension of two more pandemic unemployment programs created by the CARES law in March. Currently, both expire at the end of the year, affecting an estimated 12 million people.

The pandemic unemployment benefit program extends unemployment benefits to concerts, freelancers, self-employed people, the self-employed and certain individuals affected by the coronavirus. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program provides an additional 13 weeks of payments to those who deplete their regular state benefits.

Small business loans

The bill will provide $ 300 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program to allow some of the most severely affected small businesses to apply for a second loan. The program stopped applying for the first round of loans in August.

Healthcare, vaccinations

Hospitals and health care providers would receive an additional $ 35 billion to pay for the costs and cover lost revenue due to the coronavirus epidemic. Lawmakers have already set aside $ 175 billion in the spring for the Service Provider’s Relief Fund, which will also compensate hospitals caring for insecure coronavirus patients.

The agreement also provides $ 6 billion for the development and distribution of vaccines. Some of the money would go to states and localities, and others to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. States would receive an additional $ 7 billion to test and locate the coronavirus.

Extend the student loan payment break

The bill extends the suspension of federal student loan payments until April 30th. Borrowers have not had to pay since March, but this protection now expires on January 31st.

Financing schools

The bill would provide $ 82 billion in support for K-12 schools and colleges. Earlier proposals from Republicans and Democrats required at least $ 100 billion in funding for schools.

In addition, it will spend $ 6.25 billion on broadband developments and $ 3 billion to help schools provide hotspots and tools for students who may not have an Internet home for virtual learning.

They include an additional $ 10 billion to support child pandemic providers who have struggled with the pandemic.

Rental assistance

The bill extends eviction protection, which expires at the end of the year, until January 31. It also provides $ 25 billion in rental assistance to states, local governments and Native American tribes.

Nutritional help

The agreement would increase individual food stamp benefits by 15% for four months – a measure that Democrats have supported since the start of the pandemic but have never included it in previous aid packages.

The Pandemic-EBT program would be extended to families with children in childcare. It now provides money to low-income families with school-age children instead of the free and discounted meals they would have received at school.

The deal would also provide more funding to food banks and pantries through the emergency food aid program. It would offer more nutritional help to senior citizens, young adults living in emergency shelters, Puerto Rico and certain other areas, as well as those participating in the Women, Babies and Children (WIC) program.

Support for airlines

The bill would extend until 31 March the payroll support scheme, which provides loans to airlines to support employees ’salaries and benefits. It also provides additional funding to airports, bus companies, public transport systems and Amtrak.

State and local support

The agreement provides for the provision of $ 160 billion to state, local, and tribal governments as a basis for bona fide negotiations.

This part of the proposal was among the most controversial, with Democrats asking for much more help for states with lower tax revenues due to the pandemic. But Republicans have resisted additional support for the March discharge bill in excess of $ 150 billion, which can only be used for corona virus-related spending. GOP lawmakers have said they do not want to bail out states that have mismanaged their finances.

The Association of National Governors, which called for $ 500 billion in state aid, said last week it supported the bipartisan framework as a temporary measure.

US Postal Service support

The agreement calls for an amendment to the CARES Act to specify that the Treasury Department will provide $ 10 billion to the U.S. Postal Service without repayment. Democrats wanted to provide further assistance to the postal service.

CNN Lauren Fox contributed to this report.