There have been reports for a while of the Senate Republicans working on a so-called skinny proposal for the stimulus package. On Tuesday, when the Senate officially reconvened after a month-long recess, the first thing they did was to introduce this slimmed-down proposal. As had been reported, this skinny GOP proposal did not include coronavirus stimulus checks.
GOP’s new skinny proposal: what does it include?
On Tuesday, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would vote on this proposal later this week. McConnell blamed the Democrats for no stimulus checks and other benefits so far.
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"Senate Republicans have been trying for months to deliver more COVID-19 relief to American families. Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer have blocked" their efforts, he said in a tweet.
Talking about the new GOP proposal, McConnell says this new “targeted proposal” addresses "the very most urgent healthcare, education and economic issues. It does not contain every idea our party likes. I am confident Democrats will feel the same.”
McConnell shared no other details about the new bill. This skinny bill is unlikely to get support from Democrats, who are demanding more than $2 trillion for the relief package. Moreover, the package has many things missing, giving Democrats more reasons to block the bill.
Critics argue that the GOP unveiling this skinny proposal is a ploy to portray Democrats as the villains.
“It’s only a ‘check the box’ so that some of his endangered Republican senators can go home and say, ‘Well, see, I tried.’ But it isn’t trying. It is not even an attempt to do the right thing,” Pelosi told Bloomberg in an interview.
One major thing that the GOP’s skinny proposal is missing is coronavirus stimulus checks. Even though this was reported before, yet it came as a surprise to many. This is because the GOP’s initial proposal, the HEALS Act, did include $1,200 stimulus checks to those earning less than $75,000.
In fact, sending out $1,200 stimulus checks is one point that both sides agree on. The Democrats-backed HEROES Act also approved sending up to $1,200 in stimulus checks to Americans.
Another major thing that this new bill is missing is the additional assistance to state and local governments. This was a major sticking point during the negotiations last month. Democrats are demanding increased aid for states and local governments.
Though the GOP’s new stimulus bill does not include assistance to state and local governments, it does give flexibility to the state and local governments to use the funds they got under the first stimulus package. The new bill extends the time that state and local governments can use the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund money.
Even though McConnell plans to vote on the new skinny bill this week, it is unlikely to gain any traction. Still, it could come as a disappointment to Americans, who are eagerly waiting for the stimulus checks.