- Democrats must unite against Senate Republicans’ new slimmed-down proposal for fresh stimulus, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a Thursday letter to his caucus.
- The GOP is floating a bill expected to cost $US500 billion to replenish select relief programs.
- The proposal “appears to be completely inadequate and, by every measure, fails to meet the needs of the American people,” Schumer wrote.
- The New York Democrat also lambasted the lack of funds for rental assistance, safe elections, and food aid, saying the GOP bill tries to “give the appearance of action” instead of meeting economic needs.
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urged his caucus on Thursday to unite against Senate Republicans’ latest stimulus proposal as the spending-bill standoff rages on.
The Senate is scheduled to reconvene next week and resume negotiations over a second fiscal relief package. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have edged closer to meeting on a bill size but remain at odds over how money should be allocated.
Senate Republicans are floating a bill expected to cost $US500 billion, well below the size pursued by Democrats. Passing such a measure would allow the GOP to make “another unacceptable and ineffective attempt at providing relief,” Schumer wrote in a Thursday letter.
“Republicans may call their proposal ‘skinny,’ but it would be more appropriate to call it ’emaciated,'” the senator wrote. “Their proposal appears to be completely inadequate and, by every measure, fails to meet the needs of the American people.”
The deadlock arrives as weekly jobless claims remain at elevated levels and consumer-spending gauges slow their recovery to pre-pandemic levels. Key facets of March’s $US2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, including expanded unemployment benefits and the Paycheck Protection Program, have expired, leaving businesses without aid as the economy reopens from its monthslong shutdown.
House Democrats passed a $US3.5 trillion package in May but have since indicated they are willing to back a bill with $US2.2 trillion in aid. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters on Friday the administration was willing to pass a bill with $US1.3 trillion in relief, an increase from the previous $US1 trillion offer.
Schumer derided the slim proposal’s lack of funding for rental assistance, safe elections, and food assistance, among other omissions. Republicans’ proposal tries to “‘check the box’ and give the appearance of action rather than actually meet the truly profound needs of the American people,” he added.
The New York Democrat ended his letter with a call for Senate Democrats to hold strong against passing the “skinny bill.” The parties’ joint front on the CARES Act “allowed for significant improvements to be made” that ultimately helped the economy, he said.
“We should strive for, and hope we can achieve, another comprehensive, bipartisan bill that meets the moment facing our nation,” Schumer wrote.
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