Sen. Mitch McConnell Announces New HEALS Act with $1,200 Stimulus Checks

Daniel Fowler
July 29, 2020

As top White House negotiators returned for a second day of talks, the leverage is apparent.

"They didn't have money for food stamps, but they had money for an Federal Bureau of Investigation building just so that they can diminish competition for the president's hotel", Pelosi told reporters.

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced the GOP bill will be called the HEALS Act, which stands for health, economic, assistance, liability protection, and schools. "So I've been encouraging them to build it", he said.

But McConnell acknowledged the limits with Republicans split: "We've done the best we can".

The bill slashes the extra $600 of weekly unemployment insurance benefits - which was created to make sure the average worker received 100% of their prior earnings - to $200.

"A lot of it has been eroded right now, a lot of people off of work, a lot of suppliers involved in there", he said.

He went on to say that liability protections for businesses are of utmost importance.

"You'll have to ask them why they insisted that be included", McConnell emphasized".

"It's pretty clear they don't have 51 votes in the Senate among the Republicans for a proposal", Schumer said.

The National Association of State Workforce Agencies, which represents governments administering unemployment insurance in all 50 states, said that for most states, it would take eight to 20 weeks to program and implement a system in which agencies paid a certain percentage of replacement wages for each individual worker.

White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows told reporters on July 6 outside the White House that unrelated items sometimes get attached to legislation that is urgent. It will also cost 5.3 million jobs in both the public and private sectors by the end of 2021, as public sector cuts and layoffs cause major fallout in the private sector as well.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham estimated that half the party's members in the Senate would oppose the plan.

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"It was a request from the administration", Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Tuesday.

Republicans seek $16 billion for virus testing but Democrats want $75 billion.

Democrats want to extend a federal eviction moratorium on millions of rental units that is expiring Friday, but Republicans are silent on evictions.

The Republican proposal would give many Americans direct payments of US$1,200 each, provide billions in loans to small businesses, support hospitals and help schools reopen.

Democrats, who've proposed a $3.5 trillion virus relief package, are eager to exploit those divisions.

Republicans provided no new funding for cash-strapped states and cities, preferring to provide flexibility in how they spend previously approved aid.

"I'm very concerned about the amount of money we're talking about", Sen. Democrats propose to provide almost $1 trillion to avert municipal layoffs of government workers.

Even as McConnell, flanked by top GOP chairs Monday at the Capitol, unveiled his long-awaited proposal, conservative Republicans quickly broke ranks arguing the spending was too much and priorities misplaced. McConnell characterized his bill as a counter to the Democrats' "multi-trillion-dollar socialist manifesto".

"He has all the Democrats on his side", Paul said. Trump's hotel is across the street from it on Pennsylvania Avenue. Keeping the property in federal hands, rather than relocating the FBI to neighboring Maryland or Virginia as some propose, prevents competing hotels on the prime downtown corner. The White House has denied those claims. Democrats have dismissed that as too meager.

"I just don't get it", said Sen.

Senate Republicans revealed their long-delayed fourth coronavirus stimulus package Monday, calling for another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for individuals but slashing the additional weekly unemployment benefit from $600 to $200.

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