Republican legislators set to pass bill on coronavirus relief, target $1 trillion

Republican legislators set to pass bill on coronavirus relief, target $1 trillion

Republican legislators and administration officials has announced plan to work on a fresh bill aimed at cushioning the heavy economic toll of the pandemic.

President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans on Monday July 20, 2020, stated that they were working on a $1 trillion coronavirus relief bill focused on businesses, schools and healthcare. 

Meanwhile, Democrats vowed to oppose any proposal developed without bipartisan talks.

While disclosing Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, stated that Senate Republicans will soon put forward the proposal. 

"I hope our Democratic colleagues will be ready to work together,” McConnell said. 

The Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic-led House of Representatives have less than two weeks to hammer out a new relief package before enhanced unemployment benefits run out for tens of millions of American workers made jobless by the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said the upcoming Republican proposal would include a cut to the payroll tax on workers’ gross earnings, which funds national retirement programs. 

Trump favors such a cut as an economic stimulus, but the idea has stirred little enthusiasm on Capitol Hill, with lawmakers worried about protecting the Social Security payments funded by payroll taxes.

“We’re working and negotiating with the Democrats and trying to get a plan that helps small business, helps people, helps this country,” Trump said.

Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, warned that his party was prepared to stymie any Republican effort to pass partisan legislation.

“A bipartisan, bicameral process will result in a much better bill for the American people,” he said in a letter to colleagues.

Congress has so far committed $3 trillion to the crisis. In the more than 12 weeks since Trump signed the last bill into law, the number of U.S. coronavirus cases has more than tripled to over 3.7 million.

McConnell said recent spikes in new cases “show that we are nowhere near out of the woods."

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who led previous coronavirus bill negotiations with Congress, said on Monday that he intended to “focus on starting with another trillion dollars. We think that will have a big impact.”