- House Democrats are putting together another coronavirus stimulus plan that would cost about $2.4 trillion.
- The chamber could vote on the legislation, which would include unemployment benefits, direct payments, small business loans and airline aid, as soon as next week.
- Democrats aim to restart stalled aid talks with the White House.
House Democrats are preparing a new, smaller coronavirus relief package expected to cost about $2.4 trillion as they try to forge ahead with talks with the Trump administration, a source familiar with the plans said Thursday.
The bill would include enhanced unemployment insurance, direct payments to Americans, Paycheck Protection Program small-business loan funding and aid to airlines, among other provisions, the person said. To reach the price tag, Democrats would chop roughly $1 trillion from their previous proposal for a fifth pandemic aid plan.
The party aims to restart stimulus negotiations with the White House after talks fell apart last month. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly pushed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to boost the administration’s roughly $1.3 trillion offer by another trillion dollars.
Pelosi directed Democratic committee chairs to draft legislation, according to Politico, which first reported on plans to craft another bill. The House could vote on a bill as soon as next week, but Democrats have not yet decided on a plan, the outlet reported.
Democrats and Republicans have failed to come to agreement on more aid to combat the health and economic damage from the crisis, even after a $600 per week unemployment benefit, a federal moratorium on evictions and window to apply for PPP loans lapsed. Hopes for more legislation dwindled in recent weeks as Republicans grew wary of spending and election-year politics infiltrated the process.
House Democrats passed their more than $3 trillion aid package in May. Earlier this month, Senate Democrats blocked a roughly $500 billion Republican plan. The party put together a scaled back bill after a measure costing about $1 trillion that they released in July failed to lead to a bipartisan breakthrough.
The discussions of a proposal come as concerns grow about the potential for the U.S. economic recovery, boosted by the trillions in relief Congress has passed this year, to falter. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, among other economic experts, has warned the economy could take a hit without more fiscal stimulus.
While the U.S. has enjoyed several months of strong jobs growth after coronavirus-related shutdown led to widespread layoffs, the national unemployment rate still came in above 8.4% when last measured in August. On Thursday, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose slightly to 870,000 last week.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.
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Video: Sen. Pat Toomey on whether Congress will pass another stimulus bill (CNBC)