The Senate Republicans unveiled their coronavirus stimulus bill on Tuesday. The proposal has been referred to as the “skinny” bill as well as a “targeted” bill; and the size of the bill is substantially smaller than the one passed by the Democrats in the House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he plans to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote this coming Thursday.
During his Tuesday speech on the Senate floor, McConnell said,
"Republicans are making yet another overture. Today we're releasing a targeted proposal that focuses on several of the most urgent aspects of this crisis, issues where bipartisanship should be especially possible."
The vote on Thursday isn’t expected to garner the necessary 60 votes of approval for the proposal to pass in the Senate. Instead, McConnell is attempting to have Democrats go on record to show that they are against the bill, while having Republicans stand united with at least 51 of their members voting for the passage of the bill.
"Senate Republicans appear dead-set on another bill which doesn’t come close to addressing the problems and is headed nowhere. If anyone doubts McConnell’s true intent is anything but political, just look at the bill. This proposal is laden with poison pills Republicans know Democrats would never support."
What is included in the Republican Coronavirus Proposal?
Federal Unemployment Benefits
The bill includes federal unemployment benefits of $300 through the week of December 27, 2020.
Aid for School and Daycares
The bill includes $105 billion for schools (grades K-12) and universities. The majority of the $105 billion will go to fund schools (grades K-12).
Also included will be $15 billion for child care centers.
The bill includes approximately $16 billion for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.
Coronavirus Vaccine Research and Distribution
The bill includes $31 billion for COVID-19 vaccine research and distribution.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Funding
An additional round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding is included in the bill.
The amount of aid included in the bill for small business totals $257 billion.
Business Liability Protections
Included in the bill is liability protection for businesses and schools, which help to prevent frivolous coronavirus related lawsuits.
US Postal Service Grant
The $10 billion loan given to the United States Postal Service under the CARES Act would become a forgivable grant.
$20 billion will be included in the bill for farm aid.
The bill includes two years of tax credits for parents which cover the costs of home schooling and private school.
What is not included in the Republican Coronavirus Proposal?
Second Stimulus Check
There is no funding for a second stimulus check that is included in the proposed bill.
Local and State Aid
Also not included in the proposed Republican bill is any funding for states and local governments.
Federal Student Loan Relief
There will be no extension of the federal student loan forbearance date into next year or any additional offerings for student loan forgiveness.
The bill does not include any funding for essential worker hazard pay.