US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi

House of Reps approves $2.2trn COVID-19 stimulus measure for consumers

*Bill contains more aid as it reinstates $600 per week enhanced unemployment benefit through January 2021 and send a second $1,200 direct payment to most Americans

*Healthcare workers, police and fire, teachers, teachers, sanitation, transportation, and food workers, all make it possible for us to be here… they make government function, says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In an effort at boosting economic activities amid the striking COVID-19 pandemic in certain regions of the country, the United States (US) House of Representatives has approved a $2.2 trillion Democratic COVID-19 stimulus plan for Americans.

It was learnt the new bill, approved Thursday night, though earlier opposed by the Republicans in House, would accomplish the following:

Reinstate the $600 per week enhanced unemployment benefit through January; and send a second $1,200 direct payment to most Americans;

The fresh stimulus bill also gives $436 billion in relief over one year to state and local governments; and authorises more money for a second round of Paycheck Protection Programme loans for the hardest-hit businesses and industries;

It equally sends $25 billion to airlines to cover payroll costs; and injects $75 billion into COVID-19 testing and contact tracing efforts;
It puts $225 billion into education and $57 billion into child care; and sets aside billions for rental and mortgage assistance.

NBC reports that Thursday’s plan was approved by a vote of 214-207. Eighteen Democrats voted against the measure and all Republicans opposed it.

At the present time, talks between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin still haven’t resulted in an official deal.

Earlier, Mnuchin Wednesday had put forward a $1.6 trillion proposal that would include $250 billion for state and local government relief, $400 per week in extra unemployment benefits, $150 billion for education, $75 billion for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, and $60 billion for rental and mortgage assistance.

On Thursday, Pelosi said she was optimistic that a bipartisan deal could be agreed upon.

However, she said the two sides still have different stances on several big issues.

Pelosi said: “We have come to, kind of, in the ballpark of some things.

“Still way off in terms of state and local government, state and local government, our heroes: healthcare workers, police and fire, teachers, teachers, sanitation, transportation, food workers – the people who make it possible for us to be here.

“They make government function, state and local.”

Democrats “have concerns about a sufficient amount of money to address the unemployment insurance needs of the American people,” Pelosi stated.

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