Speed Reads

coronavirus relief

New Senate GOP coronavirus relief proposal lacks direct payment, drops unemployment boost to $300/week

Senate Republicans on Tuesday unveiled their latest coronavirus relief bill proposal as negotiations between the White House and Democratic leaders flounder.

The GOP's funding package is estimated to cost around $500 billion, well below the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that passed in March, and there aren't too many surprises in it — the bill wouldn't provide any direct payments to individuals and it would halve the weekly unemployment boost that expired in July. It does include additional money for the Payroll Protection Program and liability protections for schools and businesses amid efforts to reopen during the pandemic.

Despite earlier reports suggesting otherwise, Senate aides told Politico that Republicans are growing increasingly optimistic they'll get at least 51 of the 53 GOP votes later this week for a majority, though getting enough, if any, Democrats to reach 60 votes and avoid a filibuster remains a long-shot. Still, Republicans reportedly view the effort as a way to pressure Democrats into caving on their demands.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were unsurprisingly unimpressed with the bill — even before it was introduced they said it was only part of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) plan to help vulnerable GOP senators with a "check the box vote" and is "headed nowhere." Read more at Politico.