Both the House and Senate are now adjourned and it is expected they will remain in their districts and states until April 20 for the safety of both members and congressional staff. Despite members not being in D.C., discussions have already begun on a “Phase 4” stimulus bill. Following the CARES Act passage, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated, “This is not going to be the last bill,” a sign that House Democrats are looking towards another piece of legislation to include additional stimulus items.
Below are some of the proposals for Phase 4 of the Congressional Covid19 Economic Stimulus Bill
The Hero's Act Updates
House Democrats unveil $3 trillion coronavirus relief package: House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled their latest round of coronavirus relief legislation as they seek to put pressure on Republicans to start negotiations for additional measures to contain the pandemic’s impact on U.S. workers.
The 1,815-page, roughly $3 trillion legislation is a grab bag of top Democratic priorities ranging from funding for food assistance, state and local governments, contingency plans for vote by mail in the November elections, another round of direct stimulus payments to individuals and hazard pay for essential workers on the front lines of the pandemic. The Hill’s Cristina Marcos walks us through the bill here.
The goal: The House Democrats’ legislation is meant to lay the marker for their priorities heading into future talks with Republicans and the White House, although most of its provisions are not expected to become law.
- “We must think big for the people now, because if we don't it will cost more in lives and livelihood later,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said during an address in the Capitol after unveiling the legislation.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the White House have called for a “pause” on considering additional relief legislation, and Republicans broadly have dismissed the Democratic package as an unrealistic liberal wishlist.
READ: House Democrats' $3 trillion coronavirus relief package
But first, House Democratic leaders will have to get progressives on board.
- The chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), sent a letter to leadership on Tuesday calling to delay a vote on the bill until next week.
- Jayapal has championed a proposal that would provide direct federal grants to businesses to help with paying rent and fully maintaining workers’ salaries up to $100,000, but it did not make it into the bill.
More on the new Democratic relief package:
- Under the Democrats’ bill, most households would be eligible for another round of direct payments, this time for $1,200 per individual and $2,400 per married couple, plus an additional $1,200 per dependent, up to three dependents. The maximum payment amount a family could receive would be $6,000.
- The new coronavirus relief package released by House Democrats Tuesday would continue to add $600 to weekly unemployment benefits through the end of 2020.
McConnell: No need yet for fifth coronavirus relief bill: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday that he's in "constant communication" with the White House about the federal government's response to the coronavirus pandemic but that there isn't yet a need for Congress to pass additional legislation.
"We're basically assessing what we've done already. I'm in constant communication with the White House and if we decide to go forward we'll go forward together," McConnell told reporters.
"I don’t think we have yet felt the urgency of acting immediately. That time could develop, but I don’t think it has yet," McConnell added.
Republicans call for pause:
McConnell's comments follow him calling for a "pause" before any additional coronavirus stimulus legislation so that lawmakers can assess the impact of the nearly $3 trillion already appropriated by Congress.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow indicated to reporters at the White House late last week that formal talks were likely paused until early June.
And President Trump himself said Friday that he was in “no rush” to approve more coronavirus relief aid.
As Republicans take a wait-and-see approach, House Democrats say they could bring members back to vote on their next coronavirus package as soon as Friday.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Democrats are charging ahead this week another massive, multi-trillion-dollar package of coronavirus relief designed to protect the economy from the devastating pandemic.
Unlike the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this bill will be crafted exclusively by Democrats, which means it will include several provisions that may or may not make it into the final package. Here are eight things to expect, compiled by The Hill’s Mike Lillis and Scott Wong.
State and local help: The measure is set to include $1 trillion spread across three separate buckets of local government funding: one for states, another for counties, and another for municipalities.
Rent and mortgage assistance: Democrats are looking to give more certainty and support to millions of out-of-work Americans who are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage. Cash payments: Democrats are now rallying behind a proposal to give most Americans a monthly $2,000 relief check throughout the duration of the pandemic.
Help for workers and businesses: The Democrats’ new aid package is expected to provide hundreds of billions of dollars more to extend expanded unemployment benefits and replenish the Paycheck Protection Program.
Broadband: Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.), the Democratic whip, is pushing for roughly $80 billion to expand broadband access in rural, low-income and other vulnerable communities where teleworking and remote learning are difficult because of a lack of reliable internet. Testing, tracing, and treatment: While Congress adopted $25 billion for testing in their last “interim” coronavirus bill, the Speaker says it’s not enough, and CARES 2 will provide billions more.
Postal service: Democrats are aiming to include at least $25 billion in aid for the U.S. Postal Service, which is facing bankruptcy thanks to a decline in mail advertising. Nutrition programs: A sticking point in the debate over the initial CARES Act was Democrats’ demand for a 15 percent increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
A group of moderate House Democrats on Monday urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to also include provisions in the next coronavirus relief package that would automatically extend safety net programs including enhanced unemployment insurance, Medicaid and food assistance.
The ABC ActRep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) have teamed up on the ABC Act that would give every American $2,000 a month for the duration of the crisis, and $1,000 a month for an entire year after the crisis ends. Similar legislation offered by Khanna, who was co-chairman of Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, and Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), would be based on means testing. The Emergency Money for the People Act would give a $2,000 monthly payment to individuals making less than $130,000 a year, or $4,000 a month for couples making less than $260,000 annually.
The Monthly Economic Crisis Support ActIt would send monthly $2,000 checks to Americans who make less than $120,000 a year, up until three months after the pandemic ends. Married couples would receive $4,000, plus another $2,000 for each child.
Sens. Sanders Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)