House Passes Another Coronavirus Stimulus Package

The House of Representatives passed a $2.2 million coronavirus stimulus plan Thursday as Democrats and Republicans continue to spar over how much a second package should cost.

The bill was approved in a 214-207 vote. Eighteen Democrats voted against the bill as lawmakers in competitive districts are being cautious with the election so close.

According to CNBC, the bill would reinstate the $600 federal unemployment benefit through the year; send a second $1,200 direct payment to most Americans; provide $436 billion in relief over one year to state and local governments; authorize another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding, and inject $75 billion into coronavirus testing and contact tracing efforts, $225 billion into education, and $57 billion into child care, among other measures.

The bill has no chance to make it to a vote in the Senate. Senate Republicans have been steadfast on a relief package that costs no more than $1.5 trillion.

The Thursday vote came following another round of failed negotiations between the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Although the pair are committed to continuing negotiations, the two are still far apart on a range of issues including how much aid to send state and local governments and whether to establish a liability shield for businesses and schools.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 200,000 people in the U.S., sent millions to unemployment, and has bankrupted businesses at an unprecedented rate. Not even the president could avoid it as Donald Trump announced early Friday morning he and the first lady have contracted the coronavirus.

With negotiations at an impasse, it’s more than likely a second coronavirus stimulus package will not be passed before the election, which could have an effect on it. It’s also unclear which side will budge first. Democrats believe the money is necessary to keep the economy from falling apart as the coronavirus continues to have an effect on the economy.

Meanwhile, Republicans are worried about spending too much money and providing benefits that keep Americans from going back to work.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to billions in lost revenue and large corporations have announced significant layoffs are coming within days without help from the government. Bloomberg reported Walt Disney will lay off 28,000 workers across its amusement parks. American Airlines and United are set to layoff 32,000 workers without an injection of funds.

“I am extremely sorry we have reached this outcome,” American Airlines Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker said in a letter to employees as he announced the layoffs. “It is not what you all deserve.”