Led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Republicans released a $1 trillion package of bills Monday afternoon making up the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability, and Schools (HEALS) Act.
Likely to be among the most hotly contested issues of the package is the proposal of a weekly reduction of $400 in the enhanced unemployment benefit for Americans who have lost their job due to COVID-19.
Democrats support a $3 trillion package that would continue the $600-per-week federal payments, which expire on Friday, through the end of the year. The Senate plan’s $200-a-week proposal would phase out to a new system in September that ensures laid-off workers receive no more than 70% of their pre-layoff pay.
The plan also proposes $1,200 direct payments to Americans, $190 billion for a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans for small businesses, $105 billion to help schools reopen, $16 billion to help states boost COVID-19 testing capacity and a sweeping liability shield from COVID-19-related lawsuits.