Trump administration's latest Covid relief proposal to Dems gets closer, but hurdles remain

WASHINGTON - Details of the Trump administration's $ 1.8 trillion offer to House Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi for the Covid-19 relief bills received by NBC News show they have moved closer to the Democratic position - but there are still major hurdles.
The new offering increases the topline count, increases the cash for groceries, mortgages and rent support, increases the federal response to the pandemic, increases unemployment insurance and direct payments to Americans.
Pelosi, D-Calif., Told its members in a letter Saturday morning that the proposal was "insufficient".
Across the Capitol on Saturday, Senate Republicans spoke on the phone with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, expressing their deep displeasure over the government’s price of nearly $ 2 trillion over the phone call.
Any deal would have to be passed by the Republican Senate, and time runs out a little over three weeks until election day.
The government's increased bid comes after a week of conflicting and changing comments from the president. After months of neglect of negotiations, he unexpectedly tweeted Mnuchin to end negotiations with Pelosi immediately, shocking both Republicans and Democrats and allowing Democrats to blame him for Americans who saw no relief. Two days later, he tweeted that he wanted a "big" comprehensive bill.
The $ 1.8 trillion proposal put forward by Mnuchin Pelosi is not only a $ 200 billion increase over its last offer, it also includes an increase in some of the Democrats' key preferences. It mirrors, in many ways, the non-partisan law to solve problems that was published during a period of stalled negotiations.
It also offers an increase in state and local funding to $ 300 billion. It's an item on the agenda that Democrats have demanded that President Donald Trump was previously against, calling it a bailout for Democratic states. Pelosi calls it "unfortunately inadequate".
The government is offering to extend federal unemployment insurance by $ 400 per week through mid-January 2021, and retrospectively through September 12. The Democrats are still asking for $ 600 a week.
It adds $ 15 billion for food aid, $ 60 billion for mortgage and rental assistance, and $ 25 billion for student loan making - all Democratic priorities.
"This proposal was one step forward, two steps back," wrote Pelosi to her members. "When the president talks about wanting a bigger aid package, his suggestion seems to mean that he wants to give or withhold more money at his own discretion, rather than agreeing on a language that dictates how we honor our workers, the virus." destroy and put money in the EU pockets of workers. "
While the government has significantly increased funding for testing, vaccine development, vaccine distribution, and money for providers - a total of $ 175 billion - Pelosi has objected to the president's assignment for a federal response to Covid-19, which she has given the government to do implied has not changed in this proposal.
Some of the key sticking points concern helping children and families. The current proposal provides $ 150 billion for education. Democrats wanted more, and they want money to go to schools whether they teach students in classrooms, in a hybrid setting, or remotely. It is unclear whether the recent management proposal offers distinctions for funding.
Democrats had called for child tax credits to be expanded
Instead of expanding the EITC, the administration proposed increasing the direct stimulus payments for children. For couples earning $ 150,000, the administration offers $ 1,000 per child, from $ 500.
In her letter to her colleagues, Pelosi said the government would scrap the $ 4,000 child and long-term care refundable tax credit it required and was part of the HEROES bill passed by House Democrats in May.
Pelosi also notes that the administration has still not spent more than $ 25 billion on direct childcare support, which Pelosi describes as "totally inadequate".
The management offering includes $ 91 billion in an employee retention tax credit designed to encourage employers to keep their employees on payroll. And they are calling for corporate liability coverage, which, according to Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, R-Ky., Must be included in any law that is to be brought up in the Senate.
It also includes new funding of $ 10 billion for the postal service, $ 20 billion for airlines and $ 20 billion for the lodging industry.
There is no direct funding for restaurants, however, which could be a point of contention. Instead, it offers workers the ability to write off their restaurant meals while they work, and it changes some of the requirements for the paycheck protection program loan to make it more attractive to restaurants.
On less controversial points, the measure provides for $ 300 billion in small business PPP loans, including $ 135 billion in previously unallocated funds from the first tranche of the program.
As the negotiations continue, the Senate Republicans remain an obstacle. In a conference call with Mnuchin and Meadows, they spoke out against the currently negotiated $ 1.8 trillion bill. According to two sources whose bosses' turn it was, they don't like the top-line price tag or some of the guidelines.
One of the political issues that Republicans disagreed with is Democrats' demand to extend Obamacare in the relief bill, according to another source. They say the Democrats want to give the maximum amount of subsidies to any new member of the Affordable Care Act, which the Trump administration is trying to completely crush.
According to one source, the members "hated" the bill.

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