House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pitching another stimulus package...and it’s a big one: totaling more than three-trillion dollars. Speaking at the Capitol, Pelosi called the ongoing coronavirus crisis the biggest catastrophe in U.S. history and says more spending is the key to righting the ship.
In short, the Democratic bill provides more money for state-and-local governments, rent and mortgage relief, hazard pay for frontline workers and expanded mail-in voting programs. Here’s a rundown of some major points:
Nearly $1-trillion in relief for state and local governments
A second round of direct payments of $1,200 per person, and up to $6,000 for a household
About $200-billion for hazard pay for essential workers who face heightened health risks during the crisis
$75-billion for coronavirus testing and contact tracing — a key effort to restart businesses
An extension of the $600 per week federal unemployment insurance benefit through January 2021 (the currently approved provision is set to expire after July)
$175-billion in rent, mortgage and utility assistance
Subsidies and a special Affordable Care Act enrollment period to people who lose their employer-sponsored health coverage
More money for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, including a 15% increase in the maximum benefit
Measures designed to buoy small businesses and help them keep employees on payroll, such as $10-billion in emergency disaster assistance grants and a strengthened employee retention tax credit
Money for election safety during the pandemic and provisions to make voting by mail easier
Relief for the U.S. Postal Service
With interest rates at near-zero, Pelosi said lawmakers must continue to "think big." She called this a time of "historic challenge." The House could consider the Democratic bill late this week, but where it goes from there is anyone’s guess as experts say there’s little appetite in the Republican-led Senate for another stimulus package at this time.