Pelosi Calls McConnell's Coronavirus Relief Proposal a 'Non-Starter'

Laverne Higgins
March 26, 2020

Unveiled on Thursday, McConnell's rescue proposal from Republicans builds on Trump's request for Congress to go big.

But McConnell now may not have enough support to push the legislation through at this point.

The negotiations are certain to encounter difficulties ahead, despite the pressure on Washington to act.

Negotiations stalled despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell setting a Friday night deadline. Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo of NY, a Democrat, said in a letter that though lawmakers increased the federal reimbursement rate by 6 percentage points, that "falls short of what states will need".

Mnuchin tweeted Thursday morning that at President Donald Trump' direction, "we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15".

The GOP leader's plan aims to shore up households, businesses, and the health care industry, which is bracing for an expected onslaught of patients falling ill from the virus that causes COVID-19. The bill represents a third effort by Congress to blunt the economic toll of the pandemic that has killed at least 428 people in the United States and sickened more than 34,000, leading state governors to order almost a third of the nation's population to stay at home and putting much business activity on hold.

Beyond the direct payments to individuals, the Republican proposal would let employers defer payroll-tax payments until 2021 and 2022.

The proposal also includes a specific provision to allow the Treasury secretary to "participate in the gains", through stock options or other financial instruments, of companies that receive federal aid.

The Senate plans to remain in session until the third coronavirus bill passes, with weekend sessions possible.

Keeping paychecks flowing for workers not at work is a top priority for both Democrats and Republicans as jobless claims skyrocket.

Coronavirus impact: Centre to provide Rs 170000 crore relief package
This scheme will benefit 4.8 crore workers registered with EPFO (Employees' Provident Fund Organisation), she added. Women Jan Dhan account holders will get ₹500 per month for next 3 months through direct transfer.

The Democratic leaders called on Mr. Trump to ramp up production of medical supplies and rapidly erect temporary field hospitals under new authorities he has invoked in the Defense Production Act.

"Democrats very much want to reach a bipartisan agreement to address this major health and economic crisis", said Justin Goodman, the spokesman.

The person familiar with the talks said lawmakers were set to eliminate the reduction in payments to lower-income Americans.

Administration officials have also raised concerns about how quickly the existing unemployment insurance program could disburse funds to Americans.

Schumer, warning that more dramatic assistance would be necessary, called for a beefed-up worker support plan. "But it's essentially unneeded for people who are still working", he said. "Trust me, this is the quickest way to get it done, exactly the way we're doing it". Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.).

Meanwhile, industries of all kinds are lining up for help.

Together, the urgent measures represented one of the most dramatic governmental rescue efforts outside wartime, with millions of people thrown out of work, thousands of businesses shuttered, travel severely curtailed and no certainty as to when things might improve.

Pelosi has indicated that a coronavirus response package must include increases to unemployment and Medicaid, along with expansion to emergency paid and sick family leave.

At the White House, Trump welcomed the stimulus plan, believing it is needed to stabilise the economy.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has announced that the deadline for filing USA income taxes has been moved from April 15 to July 15.

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