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House Stimulus Bill Calls for 2nd Check & More Unemployment Ins.

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    House Democrats have officially unveiled their new stimulus package aimed at addressing the continuing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, proposing an immediate $3 trillion dollars to be sent to the states , individuals, and essential workers on the front lines of this pandemic. The proposal has been rejected outright by Republican leaders in the Senate.

    Here's four main proposals in the House Democrats bill:

    Second round of stimulus checks
    The Democratic proposal would send a second round of stimulus checks to individuals making up to $99,000 and couples making up to $198,000. The check would be the same amount (up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples) as the first round of stimulus checks. However, this proposal would give $,1200 (double that of the first round of checks) per dependent for a maximum of three. So under this proposal the maximum a family could receive would be $6,000.

    Unlike the first round of stimulus checks, legal immigrants who file returns with a taxpayer identification number would be eligible to receive a check.

    Additional $600/week additional unemployment supplement extended through January
    The additional $600/week in unemployment benefits would be extended through January. If left unchanged, the additional $600/week for those receiving unemployment benefits will expire on July 31st.

    Billions of dollars for state and local governments
    House Democrats are proposing sending $500 billion to state governments, $375 billion to local governments, $20 billion to tribal communities, and $20 billion to US territories. Washington, D.C. would also receive $755 million in emergency financial aid.

    This money could be used to pay for public workers like police, firefighters, and teachers, whose income is derived from local and state taxes, which will be significantly lower than expected due to large swaths of the American economy grinding to a halt.

    Expansion of maximum monthly SNAP benefits
    The maximum amount of monthly SNAP benefits would be increased by 15% for individuals and families enrolled in the program.

    To be clear, this is the opening salvo in what are expected to be contentious negotiations between the House, Senate, and White House. Senate Republicans have already publicly stated the legislation is a non-starter in their chamber, but that is likely a negotiating tactic on their part, as well.

    If I were a betting man, which I am not, I would guess that Senate Republicans will release their own proposal without any input from Democrats. That undoubtedly will not be able to garner the 60 votes needed to pass their chamber, but that wouldn't be the end of things. Then leadership in both Houses of Congress and the White House will start searching for a middle-of-the-road compromise that could pass both Houses and be signed by the President. It may take a few weeks to a month, but something will likely be passed that both parties can be (mostly) happy with.

    In the meantime, the American people will simply have to wait and see if our leaders can rise to the challenge before them.

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    I think there is a good chance the 2nd stimulus checks go through, as its close to exactly what has already been passed. They didn't propose monthly payments or a higher amount than before, and the income levels stayed the same. Sure they expanded it for college students and anyone else being claimed as a dependent, which is great. But the important thing is its similar enough to have a realistic shot of making it into the final bill.

    Same can be said of the unemployment insurance. While that's, I believe, far far more expensive, its just extending what they already passed in the first major stimulus package. So those two I believe have a good shot.

    Not sure on food stamps. Can see that one maybe passing, just at a lower increase, maybe like 5-10%. And then they will quibble over the numbers a lot I imagine for state and local govts. And that's likely where Republicans will attempt to get all the concessions they want.

    I mean, that's if the GOP even goes for this at all in the Senate. Like you said, they could just ignore it completely and draft their own bill, and have the Dems meet them on their own terms.

    It's always, always, always much harder to pass a 2nd huge bill than it is the 1st, historically speaking. So I don't expect this to go through quickly, or easily, or without even more theatrics than last time. But I do feel like a good amount of this bill can make it into the final version, mostly because its closer to a repeat of what they have already done.

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    J.K.Logic Wrote: It's always, always, always much harder to pass a 2nd huge bill than it is the 1st, historically speaking. So I don't expect this to go through quickly, or easily, or without even more theatrics than last time. But I do feel like a good amount of this bill can make it into the final version, mostly because its closer to a repeat of what they have already done.

    This is very true and all we have to do is look back to the 2008-09 crisis to remind ourselves of that. What's mind boggling is that this crisis has the potential to dwarf the Great Recession if it isn't handled well.

    I actually like a lot of things in the House Democrats bill and think a good chunk of them can become law after negotiations with the Republican Senate and White House. It showed the American people where they stand and what they are bringing to the table. Now it is in the Senates court to show the American people where they stand.

    Then the real negotiations can begin.

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    One thing I missed in my original post is that Democrats proposal also includes $100 billion for a national rental assistance program, which would help renters pay their monthly dues without the looming threat of eviction.

    Republicans have rejected the entire proposal outright while a number of housing advocacy groups have publicly worried that $100 billion doesn't come close to being enough if the crisis drags on for many months and large swaths of the economy remain shuttered.

    I'm all for this proposal and then some for a number of reasons, but mainly because it's far more expensive to have people out of their homes than helping to keep them in them. Can anyone imagine tens of millions of Americans being evicted from their apartments and forced onto the streets all at the same time? It would be a national emergency on top of the current national emergency we're already in.

    I honestly don't care how we keep people in their homes and apartments, but I hope we all agree that evicting a family from their home during a global health crisis isn't the best idea.

    Assistance can come in a variety of ways from direct monthly payments to Americans that they can use to help pay rent to direct payments to landlords to keep them from evicting tenants who have fallen behind on rent through no fault of their own. I'm not wedded to any proposal, but something will certainly have to be done if this crisis drags on.

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    It passed in the House. But looks DOA in the Senate -

    House passes $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill dubbed HEROES Act

    • Despite passage in the House, it is not likely to be backed by Senate Republicans, who have expressed disapproval of the bill.
    • During its unveiling by House Democrats earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill a "big laundry list of pet priorities" that has "no chance of becoming law."
    • However, being signed into law is not entirely the mission of the HEROES Act.
    • "Instead, its passage was meant for Democrats to demonstrate their priorities and signal what they will fight for in a later bipartisan bill that could pass in June," Business Insider's Kimberly Leonard reported.

    So now we wait for the Senate to negotiate with House Democrats for about another month or so.. I mean if this didn't even have a chance at really passing into law, why not be more aspirational? I know this bill was already $3 trillion, but if its just a way to show what they want, I don't understand why they didn't push for anything extreme, just to make a point. Like better/bigger student loan forgiveness, and/or bigger/monthly stimulus checks, or paycheck protection for ALL employees.

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    J.K.Logic Wrote: So now we wait for the Senate to negotiate with House Democrats for about another month or so.. I mean if this didn't even have a chance at really passing into law, why not be more aspirational? I know this bill was already $3 trillion, but if its just a way to show what they want, I don't understand why they didn't push for anything extreme, just to make a point. Like better/bigger student loan forgiveness, and/or bigger/monthly stimulus checks, or paycheck protection for ALL employees.

    That's a really good point. I wonder if it is because they may have lost more moderate House Democrats in purple districts if they went much further? While the loudest voices in the caucus are more progressive, there are plenty of quiet middle-of-the-road Democrats who are quite moderate in both temperament and their political philosophy.

    Fourteen Democrats voted against the bill that wound up passing, so I wonder if Speaker Pelosi did try to go further but realized she would lose even more votes and then wouldn't have enough votes to pass the bill.