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Senate Republicans propose $1 trillion coronavirus aid package to assist Americans

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Senate Republicans have proposed a $1 trillion coronavirus aid package on how to help Americans as expanded unemployment benefits for millions of workers expire this week.

While speaking about the proposal on Monday July 27, 2020, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, described it as a “tailored and targeted” plan focused on getting children back to school and employees back to work and protecting corporations from lawsuits. 

He said that it would slash the expiring supplemental unemployment benefits of $600 a week by two-thirds.

Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed considerable opposition against the proposal. 

Democrats decried it as too limited compared to their $3 trillion proposal that passed the House of Representatives in May, while some Republicans called it too expensive.

McConnell said the package would include direct $1,200 payments to Americans, as well as incentives for the manufacture of personal protective equipment in the United States, rather than China.

It also includes $190 billion for loans to help small businesses, and $100 billion for loans to businesses that operate seasonally or in low-income areas.

Republicans want to reduce the expanded unemployment benefit from the current $600 per week, which is in addition to state unemployment payments and expires on Friday, to $200 in addition to state unemployment.

The supplemental unemployment has been a financial lifeline for laid-off workers and a key support for consumer spending. 

The extra funds, exceeding the former wages of some workers, have been a sticking point for many Republicans, who say they encourage Americans to stay home rather than go back to work.

“We hope that we would be able to reach an agreement. We clearly do not have shared values. Having said that, we just want to see if we can find some common ground to go forward. But we’re not at that place yet,” Pelosi said.

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