Republican lawmakers are against passing the second round of $1,200 checks. This news comes amid plans to initialize the final stage of coronavirus relief funds.
Republican Senators on Tuesday stated that their focus is on reforming the small business Paycheck Protection Program.
The President just signed the bill that eases restrictions on the use of PPP funds.
“But the new law – the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act – eases the restrictions on how the money must be spent in order to be forgiven. Loan recipients now only have to spend 60 percent of the aid on maintaining payroll — including salary, health insurance, leave, and severance pay — rather than the previous 75 percent rule. The remaining 40 percent can go toward operating costs like rent and utilities.”
In regards to another round of stimulus checks, Senator James Lankford said the situation has changed now, and the second round of direct payment is unnecessary. He added that a good number of recipients appreciated the first round of funding but said continuing with giving checks month after month is not right.
The reason behind that, according to him, is that the economy is reopening.
Senator Mitt Romney had the same sentiments acknowledging that the prospect of another round of checks is doubtful. Instead of payments, Congress will work on potentially extending unemployment benefits.
Senator Romney, just like his Republican counterpart, said the first round of checks happened because the country was heading into lockdown. The funds were to help get Americans through the period.
In the same spirit, GOP senators have confirmed that not a single person from their conference is rooting for the second round of checks.
A good number of Democrat Senators have said that lawmakers should take other relief options seriously.
Speaking to the media, Senator Christopher Coons said the most important benefit of including relief checks in the bill was that it was urgent and helped struggling Americans. He affirms that his main concern is that the legislation helps sustain jobs and fix the rental housing problems.
Another Round of Checks
House Democrats included another round of relief checks in the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion package that the lower chamber passed in May.
“The HEROES Act direct payments would equal $1,200 per eligible individual ($2,400 for married taxpayers filing a joint return). Taxpayers would also receive $1,200 for each dependent, up to three dependents. Hence, the largest payment would be $6,000 for a married couple with three or more dependents. These payments are in addition to the CARES Act direct payments. “
Senate Minority Leader, Charles Schumer, said he was going to support another round of relief checks. Both the President and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin backed direct payments to individuals back in March, but the new relief measure faces increasing opposition from senate legislators.
Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the President’s closest allies, said he does not want to send out a second round of paychecks.
Despite the House passing of a $3 Trillion COVID-19 relief bill in early May, the Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell has not scheduled a vote. Instead, Republican senators will focus on the Great American Outdoors Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, among other bills nominated this month.
The Majority leader who mostly spent time urging Republican Senators to pass the phase-4 relief bill is urging senators to pass the law enforcement reform bill. This legislation comes after the nationwide demonstrations following the controversial death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Derek Chauvin, the police officer who knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck for about 8 minutes, has been arrested and facing manslaughter charges.
Many Republican Senators have stressed that with the economy reopening, most Americans will be able to cater to their needs. According to the GOP lawmakers, the $1,200 relief funds will no longer be necessary. The cost of the entire process is one factor Republicans are using to shoot down the bill, saying it will cost the Congress a lot of money.
A few Democrat senators have shared sentiments with their Republican counterparts, expressing doubts about the likelihood of dishing out more stimulus checks. The legislators preferred to channel the funds to institutions and unemployment benefits.
With the current state of things, the legislation bill is very unlikely to pass. The President’s advisers are scheduling discussions on the next COVID-19 relief package, which is said to focus more on reopening the economy within the shortest time possible. Some of the ideas that legislators have discussed include ways to curb to reduce the increasing rates of unemployment and support small businesses. On its part, the White House is more likely to support another round of stimulus relief checks.
The Whitehouse Stand
In a statement to newsrooms, the Whitehouse said President Trump is going to ensure the government takes care of all Americans in these trying times. This statement comes after unemployment claims shot up to over 3 million last Thursday, a number that keeps reducing with the economy reopening.
However, unemployment dropped by 1.4 percent this month to 13.3 percent. President Trump used this slight improvement to urge states to reopen.
The first relief package was supposed to cost $2 trillion; however, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would only add $1.7 trillion to the national deficit. Under the CARES Act, individuals received $1,200, while married couples got $2,400. Those with children got an additional $500.
A good number of senators believe that citizens are getting anxious towards the economy can be attributed to diminished prospects as well as unemployment. This fear has fueled frustration and anger across the cities that have wreaked havoc and destruction.
Senator Josh Hawley says that the ongoing anti-racism demonstrations could have a direct link with the weak economy.
“This is happening just after unemployment numbers went up, and you can see people are angered,” Senator Hawley said