Senate GOP’s Draft Pandemic Relief Legislation Supports Businesses And More

On Monday, Senate Republicans introduced legislation laying out a second round of coronavirus relief. The roughly $1 trillion legislation would provide support to businesses, state and local governments, school and hospitals, and individuals.

The draft legislation includes $16 billion for coronavirus testing, $105 billion for schools, a second round of stimulus checks and protection against coronavirus-related lawsuits unless a business, school or government agency was engaged in “gross negligence” or “intentional misconduct.” It would provide further federal unemployment insurance, although down from the previous amount of $600 per week, and additional Paycheck Protection Program funding for businesses that have lost at least 50 percent of their revenue.

This week, Senate Republicans will begin negotiating the bill with Democrats, who have pushed back against the legislation’s ability to meet the country’s needs in the face of rising coronavirus cases and a faltering economy. The bill has also drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle for containing funding for projects that are not associated with pandemic relief, including $1.75 billion for a new FBI headquarters.

The final bill passed by the Senate would then go to the House, which passed its own $3 trillion bill in May that would extend the $600 per week federal unemployment insurance payments through the end of the year, provide funding to the U.S. Postal Service, and support state and local governments, and food assistance programs.

filed under July 2020
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