WASHINGTON.— The new Senate Republican proposal to revive the economy expands unemployment benefits but omits a new round of $ 1,200 checks to workers, and from the outset faces rejection from Democrats and skepticism within your party.
The measure, which will be put to a vote this Thursday, is a modified second version (and lower in cost and content) than the more than a trillion dollars that the Republicans offered in July.
Amid bitter partisan disputes over the scope and content of a new economic stimulus package, experts predict that this version only guarantees more political paralysis in Washington, although the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the main axes of the electoral contest.
Experts warn of severe coronavirus outbreaks in autumn
8, 202000: 26
The July Republican measure was never put to a vote, and last month Republicans put forward another version, worth around $ 500 billion, which also failed to garner enough support within the caucus.
The new $ 500 billion version is
the same fate, considering that
in the face of the bloated federal deficit,
the Republican Party is even divided on whether another stimulus plan is necessary.
Republican senator from Texas Ted Cruz said on Twitter that the measure is in the "good direction", but "much remains to be done."
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives approved its own $ 3.4 trillion version in May, but the Senate threw it out without debate.
The main opposition leaders, Nancy Pelosi in the House and Chuck Schumer in the Senate, have already said that the new Republican measure is as "pathetic" as it is "insufficient."
Here are the main points of the new Republican proposal, which in its 285 pages focuses on health, the economy, and education:
The proposal authorizes $ 16 billion for coronavirus detection and tracking tests, which would be available until September 2022.
It disburses 31,000 million for the development and distribution of a vaccine against the coronavirus, as well as the creation of a national supply.
The measure extends additional unemployment benefits of $ 300 a week until next December 27.
Authorizes a second round of loans for 258,000 million for small businesses within the Salary Protection Program (PPP, in English), which would be available for businesses with fewer than 300 employees and that have suffered a drop of at least 35% in their income in the first half of this year.
It also reduces the amount of individual loans from $ 10 million to $ 2 million.
It disburses 20,000 million for agricultural producers, and 500 million for fishing.
It conditions grants of 10 billion dollars for the National Postal Service, which must implement a series of reforms.
The new measure does not include a second round of direct checks to US households, as they were part of the previous Republican version.
The Democratic version approved by the Lower House last May includes checks of up to $ 6,000 for each household, depending on your income.
The new measure does not disburse additional aid for local and state governments, but it does extend the term, until September 2021, so that they can access the 150,000 million authorized by Congress last March.
The proposal includes $ 105 billion for schools, two-thirds of which would go to schools offering face-to-face classes in the new school year.
Yielding to pressure from conservatives like Ted Cruz, the measure also funds scholarships so parents can send their children to public or private schools outside of their districts.
The scholarships would come from organizations that in turn receive donations subject to tax credits.
Under this measure, parents would obtain tax credits for expenses associated with virtual education during the pandemic, including the purchase of books, online teaching materials and tutoring services.
Authorizes $ 15 billion for child care centers.
The measure also includes legal protections for businesses and employers against lawsuits over the contagion of the coronavirus, another issue that has also raised reluctance among Democrats, who instead demand more aid for local and state governments and more protections for workers.