Republicans Back Stimulus Package With Direct Payments

Republican leaders in Congress on Tuesday said they back a COVID-19 relief package from the White House that includes $600 direct payments.

December 09, 2020

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would support a $916 billion package put forth by President Donald Trump’s top negotiator.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that he presented the package to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). It includes “money for state and local governments,” as well as “robust liability protection for businesses, schools, and universities,” according to Mnuchin, who made no mention of checks to Americans.

McCarthy told The Associated Press that the new deal would send $600 direct payments to individuals and $1,200 payments to couples, mirroring the March stimulus that sent most Americans $1,200 checks and couples twice that amount.

The White House and McCarthy didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) rejected the new White House proposal. The pair said in a joint statement that the relief package was inadequate and obstructs bipartisan talks currently underway over another compromise.

“While it is progress that Leader McConnell has signed off on a $916 billion offer that is based off of the bipartisan framework, the president’s proposal must not be allowed to obstruct the bipartisan Congressional talks that are underway,” Pelosi and Schumer said. “Members of the House and Senate have been engaged in good-faith negotiations and continue to make progress. The bipartisan talks are the best hope for a bipartisan solution.”

“The president’s proposal starts by cutting the unemployment insurance proposal being discussed by bipartisan members of the House and Senate from $180 billion to $40 billion. That is unaccep….

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