Democrats Offer New, Slimmer Coronavirus Relief Bill

As they say, the devil is in the details

Pelosi, Democrats unveiling new $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid bill

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday that Democratic lawmakers unveiled a new, $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which she said was a compromise measure that reduces the costs of the economic aid.

In a letter to Democratic lawmakers released by Pelosi’s office, she said the legislation “includes new funding needed to avert catastrophe for schools, small businesses, restaurants, performance spaces, airline workers and others.”

“Democrats are making good on our promise to compromise with this updated bill,” she said. “We have been able to make critical additions and reduce the cost of the bill by shortening the time covered for now.”

Pelosi and Schumer initially sought a $3.4 trillion relief package, then said some time ago they were willing to scale that back by at least a trillion dollars. But it was not clear whether the White House would consider the $2.2 trillion sum proposed in the new legislation. Meadows has said that Trump would be willing to sign a $1.3 trillion relief package.

Pelosi also faces pressure from moderate House Democrats who say they want to see bipartisan aid proposals that have a chance of becoming law.

The new proposal included $436 billion for state and local governments, as well as money for education, testing, airline industry workers and for a small business loan program known as the Paycheck Protection Program, a statement from House Democrats said.

It would also provide a new round of direct payments to Americans of $1,200 per taxpayer and restore federal unemployment benefits of $600 a week through January.

The question is, what’s actually in it? Does it include all the poison pills that were in the others, like propping up all the Democrat states who lost billions in tax revenue during lockdown, vote by mail, and so many more liberal priorities that often have nothing to do with Coronavirus relief? Poison pills that were mostly meant to make sure it wouldn’t pass the GOP led Senate, in order to play politics rather than provide relief.

And that’s what this one most likely is: a way to play politics, rather than attempt to help anyone. Don’t forget how many times Democrats in the Senate have blocked Coronavirus relief bills by refusing to allow debate and a final vote using the 60 vote threshold.

If you think about it, that’s $6,666 per U.S. citizen, but, there will reportedly be two rounds of $1,200 checks, plus $500 per dependent, so $643.7 billion. Where’s the other roughly $1.4 billion going? We have the aforementioned $436 billion, $10 billion for the Save Our Stages, $25 billion for airlines, $34 billion for transit (including $2.4 billion to prop up Amtrak), $120 billion for restaurants, but

The International Franchise Association was less jubilant. Blumenauer’s bill would help restaurants with fewer than 20 locations but not franchised chain restaurants, the trade group argued. While the bill contains much the IFA supports, it would provide “funds for corporately-owned, high-end restaurants while barring independently-owned franchise restaurants from the same relief,” Matt Haller, the trade group’s top lobbyist, said in a statement. “To add insult to injury, the House bill creates a caviar carveout for these ‘Top Chef’ restaurants by allowing them a second helping of PPP funds on top of this new celebrity chef bailout. Restaurants of all types need help — regardless of the name on the door.”

Again, what are the poison pills? No one has said yet.

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