WASHINGTON D.C. (WCMH) — Congress is expected to start talking about another coronavirus relief package this week and it’s probably going to be the last one before the election.
The new bill is known as “The Recovery Act, CARES 4.0” but there are no guarantees on what it might contain.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laid out the republican priorities of kids in school, jobs, and healthcare as well as protection from lawsuits for businesses that choose to reopen.
“We don’t need an epidemic of lawsuits on top of the pandemic we’re already dealing with,” McConnell said.
But lawsuit immunity is a nonstarter for many democrats, including Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.
“This one to me is dead on arrival, as is his amendment to strip away unemployment benefits,” Brown said.
The extra $600 in federal unemployment benefits ends this week. Democrats want to extend it, but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says those extra benefits pay some workers more to stay home than to go back to work.
“We don’t think any federal money should be spent that gives you a disincentive to work,” McCarthy said. “We want to make sure we have incentives to keep going.”
Brown also wants more money to protect service workers, like people in grocery stores and meat processing plants.
“What about state and local government, what about rental assistance, what about money to reopen the schools?” Brown asked. “All of these are major priorities.”
Meanwhile, President Trump has threatened to veto any relief package without a payroll tax cut.
“It’s been proven to be successful. It’s a big saving for the people,” Trump said.
But that’s something very few democrats or even republicans want to pursue since it would reduce funding for social security and medicare.