Stimulus: Republican senators offer $618 billion counterproposal to President Biden's $1.9 trillion plan
A group of 10 Republican senators on Monday unveiled a scaled-down stimulus proposal of $ 618 billion, stimulus tests of $ 1,000 and less unemployment benefits than President Joe Biden's stimulus plan of 1.9 trillion Includes US dollars.
"Our proposal reflects many of your stated priorities. With your support, we believe that this plan can be swiftly approved by Congress, with the support of both parties," the senators wrote in a letter to the president on Sunday.
The proposal of Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), as well as five other people, has a lot lower price than Biden's $ 1.9 trillion stimulus plan he launched in January. The Republican senators called for "more targeted support than the government's plan," according to the letter.
The $ 618 billion plan includes an additional round of stimulus checks, but the payments are cut to $ 1,000 from the $ 1,400 payments in Biden's plan.
Who qualifies for a Republican plan payment also varies. Individual filers earning up to $ 40,000 are eligible for full payment, and those earning less than $ 50,000 are eligible for an expiring payment. Under Biden's plan, individual filers earning up to $ 75,000 qualify for full payment, while those earning less than $ 100,000 receive an expiring payment.
The Republican plan also extends the $ 300 weekly unemployment benefit through June 30, while Biden's proposal would increase the bonus to $ 400 and extend the program through September. However, the GOP proposal does not mention the expansion of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which offers benefits to the unemployed and the self-employed. Biden's proposal would extend the PUA and other federal unemployment programs.
The Republican proposal also includes funding for food aid, vaccine development and distribution, testing and tracking, treatment and supplies, among other things. It does, however, exclude funding from state and local governments, an important provision for Democrats who wanted them to be included in the December economic stimulus agreement and are trying to be part of that auxiliary legislation.
"If there is no government and local aid, I don't think this is a starter for the Democratic caucus," Mark Harkins, a former Congressional staff member and senior fellow at the Government Affairs Institute in Georgetown, told Yahoo Money. "For a real compromise to come about, Republicans must be ready to give at least some on this point."
"Treat our tax dollars as if they were our tax dollars"
Numerous GOP senators have raised concerns about the price of Biden's plan and the rising deficit, including Cassidy, who is part of the group proposing the smaller stimulus package.
"We are focused on the needs of the American people and treat our tax dollars as if they were our tax dollars, not just money to spend," Cassidy told Fox News on Sunday.
Read More: Here's what Joe Biden's $ 1.9 trillion "rescue plan" says that could help your wallet
Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, and Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, listen as Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, speaks during a press conference with a bipartisan group of lawmakers as they propose a Covid - 19 Aid Draft on Capitol Hill on Monday, December 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Al Drago for the Washington Post via Getty Images)
Romney called the $ 1.9 trillion price tag "pretty shocking" in an interview with Fox News last month.
Biden said he hoped to get his proposal forward with bilateral support from both houses of Congress. However, the Democrats are also preparing the reconciliation process that would allow them to pass some auxiliary provisions with 51 votes without the support of the GOP senators.
"You should negotiate with us and not make a take-it-or-leave offer," Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told the New York Daily News on Sunday.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with the 10 Republican senators on Monday to discuss the proposal.
"[Biden] is limited by how many changes he could make to what the Democratic caucus and Congress are already putting forward," Harkins said. "It is possible for these talks to come up with a compromise that will either change the amount of money per month or the level of income at which people receive benefits, but changing both is a major challenge."
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Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.
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