September 23, 2020 - Douglas Myser

What republicans and democrats want. Democrats and Republicans both want more $1200 stimulus checks, but huge differences remain in the latest negotiations over coronavirus relief. Congress has approved roughly $2.5 trillion since March to rescue an economy battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. And it doesn't look like it will be nearly enough. Lawmakers are working on a fifth round of stimulus relief that could dwarf the four previous rounds of assistance combined. The Democratic led House has passed the HEROES Act, a roughly $3.4 trillion bill that would provide a second round of direct payments to millions of Americans, provide nearly $1 trillion to revenue-strapped states and local governments, and provide the assistance local governments are looking for. The Republican controlled Senate has introduced its counter proposal, the HEALS Act, a $1.1 trillion package that also includes direct payments but no federal aid for housing, food or state and local governments. It has yet to pass the chamber. What republicans and democrats want.

The Democratic bill proposes extending the current benefit of $600 per week (which ends July 31) through December, a federal bonus on top of what states pay. The Republican plan proposes cutting that amount to $200 through September and then limiting the maximum benefit to 70% of an applicant's pay moving forward. Both bills provide another stimulus check to millions of Americans under the same rules as the CARES Act: $1200 for individuals earning up to $75000 (phasing out at $99,000) and $2400 for married couples earning up to $150,000 (Phasing out at $150,000). The Democratic bill would be more generous for dependents ($1200 for each dependent--up to three--versus $500 for each dependent  in the GOP bill).

Democrats propose nearly $1 trillion in direct aid to help states, countries and cities whose budgets have been decimated by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The Republican bill has no such aid through it does provide states and local governments more flexibility in how they use the aid provided in earlier stimulus bills.

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