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Everything we know is in the $1.8T White House stimulus bill, and what we don’t

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Get to know what’s in the bills that’ll soon be voted on.


Angela Lang/CNET

After months of meetings and press conferences and Senate hearings and votes on “skinny” bills and omnibus packages and confusing legislation, White House and Democratic negotiators still haven’t nailed down another economic rescue package that would provide financial assistance for American individuals, families and businesses.

The latest failed attempts to pass more financial aid came and went this week, when the Senate twice lacked the votes to advance legislation for more economic stimulus this year. Though the House passed a smaller version of its Heroes Act earlier this month, the Senate hasn’t take it up.

Now it’s up to the two lead negotiators — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — to see if they can come together on an agreement either before, or more likely after, the Nov. 3 election.

“I think the president wants a bill, I really do. Why would we even be talking to each other?” Pelosi said on MSNBC on Friday.

But time may’ve run out if the two sides want to reach an agreement in the days before the election, as negotiators wanted to settle on the bill’s language by Friday to meet an election deadline. “We’d have to have our legislation all written by the end of this week,” Pelosi said on Bloomberg TV on Tuesday. On Friday, afternoon, however, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, tweeted that “The Speaker remains hopeful that an agreement with the White House can be reached soon,” saying, “The Speaker and Secretary Mnuchin will speak again once additional progress is made.”

Even if the two sides do manage to reach an agreement, there’s no guarantee the deal would be considered by the Senate prior to Nov. 3. Though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has committed to a Senate vote on a new stimulus deal if it’s passed by the House and supported by the administration, he’s been vague on a timeline for a vote. And McConnell has reportedly warned the White House about making a deal before Election Day.

Let’s take a look at the White House and Democratic proposal for a new bill, from a second stimulus check to unemployment support. We update this story with new information.

What’s in the bill the White House and Democrats are negotiating?

For months, Pelosi and Mnuchin have discussed the size and approach of the next economic relief bill. Negotiating every day for weeks, the two continue to say they’re coming closer to an agreement. Though the Republican-controlled Senate has signaled strong objections to the bill, McConnell said if the package does come to the Senate, he’ll bring it to a vote.

Pelosi said the goal is to have legislation ready by the election, but if the two sides can’t reach that goal, which is looking increasingly likely, talks will continue. “We still have a responsibility to continue the negotiations,” Pelosi said on Bloomberg TV on Tuesday.

Based on info from The Washington Post, here’s what we know of Mnuchin’s current offer for a $1.8 trillion bill:

Another stimulus payment: Stimulus checks of up to $1,200 for eligible adults and $1,000 for qualifying child dependents (the CARES Act set dependent payments at $500).

Unemployment benefits: The proposal sets enhanced unemployment benefits at $400 a week (down from the $600 included in the CARES Act but up from the $300 that the president authorized this summer through executive action).

Funding for coronavirus testing, tracing and treatment: Mnuchin had ceded ground on this previous blocker, saying the White House would add money for coronavirus testing and tracing to its stimulus offer

State and local funding: A big sticking point, the proposal includes $300 billion for cities and states, up from $250 billion in an earlier proposal.

Liability protections for businesses: While we don’t know the details of the liability protections included in the bill, a liability shield would protect businesses, schools and doctors from coronavirus lawsuits. Pelosi has repeatedly characterized liability protection as an obstacle to reaching a deal.


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Details we don’t know about the next economic stimulus bill

There is much the two sides have not revealed about the current plan, either in specific details or cost. Among the areas that two sides have have gone into detail include:

  • Payroll support for small businesses and airline workers
  • Housing assistance
  • School and child care funding
  • US Postal Service support
  • US Census support
  • Workplace liability protections 

For more information, here’s what you need to know about coronavirus hardship loans and unemployment insurance, and what you can do if you’ve lost your job.



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