The most awaited $300 billion coronavirus stimulus package was blocked by the Senate Democrats. This financial relief was supposed to provide some relief to Americans before the November elections. The bill needed 60 votes to get clearance, and it was defeated in a 52-47 vote.
Sen Pat Roberts said that they are also dealing with a pandemic of politics along with the covid 19 pandemic, and, unfortunately, this happened. The proposal was made by the Republicans as they asserted that it would provide temporary relief to millions of American families along with Schools and small businesses. Not only that, it would also provide unemployment benefits to millions of Americans who are out of work. However, most analysts never expected it to be passed as the Democrats opposed the bill.
There is little hope that a coronavirus stimulus package will come before the November election as both parties have a lot of differences with regards to the total stimulus package value. However, lawmakers are still hoping for a bipartisan agreement in the next few weeks as the country goes to elections. However, Sen Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said that it is unlikely that financial relief will be offered before November even though discussions may continue in this regard. He said that it is evident that they do not want to get into an agreement on the issue. While it can be a political victory for some people, it is a huge loss for the American people. He added that unless Pelosi changes her mind and talks to the White House, things are not going to move forward in this situation.
As millions of people go jobless due to the spread of Covid 19, the blame game continues between both the parties. McConnell said that it was the Democrats who were responsible for this situation, and providing small relief will help people who badly need it at the moment. He tweeted that every Senate Democrat voted against the package that would have provided money for schools, testing, vaccines, and unemployment insurance. He added that the goals of Democrats were clear, and they did not want any help to reach Americans before the election.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also opposed the proposal and said that the Republicans are playing down the pandemic and do not want to help Americans in this situation. The republicans do not provide the scale of help needed and whatever they are offering is not enough for many families. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that he still hopes there could be another relief bill this year. He said that a lot of people need that package, and there are still chances that it may come in the next few weeks.
The provisions in the bill include a $300 weekly unemployment benefit that will be offered till 27th December. The earlier $600 weekly unemployment benefits expired in July. Donald Trump had passed an executive order last month in this regard and said that the federal government will provide relief to out of work Americans. The bill also offers liability protections for hospitals, businesses, churches, and schools against coronavirus related personal injury claims. In addition to this, the second round of loans for small businesses under the paycheck protection program will be given. Businesses need to have less than 300 employees and show at least 35% less revenue when compared to the previous year.
The earlier $10 billion loans given to the Postal Service will be considered as a grant, and the loan will be forgiven. The Postal Service has to submit a report on how the pandemic has increased their expenses. Schools also get benefits of up to $105 billion through the Education stabilization fund. Apart from that, it also provides $16 billion for coronavirus testing and another $31 billion to develop vaccines and therapeutics. However, the measure fails to include some of the top priorities for the Democrats, including more funding for state and local governments. The local governments have faced a lot of problems, and they are even planning to furlough workers due to budget shortcomings.
Schumer and Pelosi held a lot of talks with the White House for another coronavirus stimulus package back in July. But the talks did not materialize as Congress went on a month-long recess. After this, the unemployment benefits stopped, and small business loan programs also shut down that led to both sides blaming each other for the situation. Even in that situation, Trump had signed four executive orders in August and hoped to balance the situation. This included enhanced unemployment insurance and moratorium to prevent the eviction of renters.
However, legal experts say that the orders may not be valid, and it may take many more weeks to get implemented in this situation. As the elections are nearing, most unemployed Americans are badly hoping for a stimulus package. However, this time, even the markets were not hoping for this package as there was little enthusiasm about the voting. Most people have now understood that the political battle will take center stage, and such a stimulus can come in a big way only after the elections. However, for this to happen, one party has to get a clear majority so that they can take charge and bring some much-needed reforms that will boost the economy. Analysts are worried that if the election results are delayed, it may delay the stimulus package further, and this can lead to a lot of chaos in the country.
The eviction of renters had become a huge problem across the country until the recent guidelines to stop them till December came into effect. This has temporarily stopped mass evictions, and millions of Americans are hoping for some miracle so that they can pay rents and stay at home. The renters are now getting help from the government till December, and they hope that market conditions may improve shortly, and they may get their jobs back. With some development happening in the vaccine front, everyone is hoping for a new beginning in the upcoming months.