$600 Checks Now on the Table as COVID-19 Relief Negotiations Continue

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (11398620b)United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican of Kentucky), speaks during a news conference following a weekly meeting with the Senate Republican caucus at the U.
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Americans could see another direct payment of $600 per person ($1200 per couple) in the Trump administration’s latest COVID-19 package as part of a $916 billion pandemic relief proposal to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In comparison to the March coronavirus relief bill, this new proposal – announced by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin late Tuesday – represents just half the payment delivered at the start of the pandemic.

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Notably, the effort does not include a weekly $300 jobless benefit supported by a bipartisan group. Democrats and Republicans, hoping to deliver a second round of aid soon, are still trying to reach an agreement as the close of 2020 draws near.

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In response, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) issued a statement noting the fresh offer demonstrated progress, but they’d prefer to let bipartisan Congressional talks continue. In particular, they cited the package’s dramatic drop in proposed funds for employment benefits.

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Hoping to rally lawmakers on both sides, the bipartisan group supports a $908 billion package that includes a weekly $300 jobless benefit plus $160 billion in aid for local and state governments, a top priority for Dems. While it doesn’t come close to what House Democrats ideally want, it’s a more substantial offer than the GOP proposal.

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These ongoing COVID-19 relief negotiations are being hit from all sides, further complicating the talks and delaying a second coronavirus aid package. With Mnuchin’s latest offer, ever-changing White House mandates, and separate bipartisan discussions, all sides face intense pressure to come to some kind of agreement before the end of the year.

As of publication, no clear commentary yet from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on the administration’s latest offer.

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About the Author

Lisa Beach is a freelance journalist, content marketing writer, and copywriter. Her work has been published in The New York Times, USA Today, Parade, Conde Nast Traveler, and Good Housekeeping. Check out her writer’s website at LisaBeachWrites.com.
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