- Last week, a group of 10 Republican senators introduced a $US618 billion stimulus proposal to counter the $US2 trillion plan President Joe Biden introduced.
- There are notable ommissions in the GOP plan, including a federal minimum wage increase, extended unemployment insurance, and aid to renters.
- Biden will meet with the Republican group on Monday to discuss the proposal, but he has made it clear that he will not break down the plan for bipartisan approval.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A group of 10 Republican senators introduced a stimulus proposal last week to counter the $US2 trillion plan President Joe Biden already proposed. The GOP plan totals to an estimated $US618 billion – nearly a third the size of Biden’s proposed aid package.
Led by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the Republican group is set to meet with the president on Monday to discuss the elements of their plan, and in their letter to the president, they expressed the desire to work with Biden on developing a proposal that will get bipartisan approval.
“We recognise your calls for unity and want to work in good faith with your Administration to meet the health, economic, and societal challenges of the COVID crisis,” the letter said.
However, Biden and his administration have already made it clear that they will not break apart their plan for the sake of bipartisanship, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki saying at a press conference that Biden is not looking to split up the stimulus package.
The needs of the American people are urgent from putting food on the table, to getting vaccines out the door to reopening schools. Those aren’t partisan issues. We are engaging with a range of voices—that’s democracy in action—we aren’t looking to split a package in two.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) January 28, 2021
Here are the main elements missing or downsized in the Republican stimulus proposal:
$US1,400 stimulus checks
While Biden has called for $US1,400 stimulus checks to be delivered to Americans, the GOP plan cut that check down to $US1,000. The $US1,000 checks would also start diminishing in value for those making above $US40,000 a year in income, instead of $US75,000 a year.
Monthly child benefits
Biden proposed a fully refundable child tax credit, and Democrats have begun drafting legislation to give families $US300 each month in child tax credits. Experts have disagreed on the merits of a fully refundable, monthly credit, and the GOP plan cuts monthly benefits for children out entirely.
$US15 federal minimum wage increase
Since it was introduced, a minimum wage increase has been a contentious issue in Congress, with conservatives arguing that increasing the minimum wage will damage the labour market. Biden has remained firm in a minimum wage increase, but it was expected that Republicans would not include that provision in their plan.
Extended unemployment insurance
The GOP plan includes $US300 a week in unemployment insurance through June 30. In contrast, Biden proposed $US400 weekly benefits that would extend through the end of September.
Funding to reopen schools
Given that schools have been virtual since the beginning of the pandemic, Biden proposed $US175 billion to get children back into K-12 classrooms. The Republican-led plan includes $US20 billion to carry out that same effort.
In his first week in office, Biden signed an executive order to extend the eviction moratorium in an effort to aid renters during the pandemic, and he called on Congress to provide further aid in rental assistance. The GOP plan did not include any funding for renters.
The Republican stimulus plan also includes $US160 billion for pandemic response measures like vaccinations and testing, along with $US12 billion in nutrition funding.
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