August 12, 2020

Here Are the Differences Between the House and Senate Coronavirus Relief Bills

In the Senate, Mr. McConnell has repeatedly said that he views strengthening liability protections for businesses, schools and hospitals that remain open during the pandemic as a prerequisite for any aid bill. The Republican proposal would establish a liability shield for businesses, schools and hospitals from facing claims over episodes related to the coronavirus.

Funding for state, local and tribal governments is the centerpiece of the legislation House Democrats approved in May. Democrats argue that governments will need another major infusion of relief to keep essential workers on payrolls and make up for the loss of revenue after decreased tourism and spending during the pandemic.

The bill unveiled by Senate Republicans does not have any aid specifically set aside for state, local and tribal governments, though it grants more flexibility for how states spent previously allocated funds. Several conservative lawmakers note that some of the money allocated in the March stimulus law has not yet been spent. Others have warned against states using the coronavirus relief to make up for pre-existing debt and expenses.

Both proposals would again allocate another round of $1,200 direct payments to American families, duplicating a provision in the stimulus law enacted in March that would phase out the amount of money for individual incomes above $75,000.

But the Democratic proposal would allow undocumented immigrants to receive money, undoing language that prohibited payments to anyone who filed taxes jointly with someone who used an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, a common substitute for a Social Security number. That number is used mostly by immigrants without legal status.

Democrats would also increase the amount of money per child to $1,200 for up to three children per family. The Republican proposal would maintain the $500 amount set in the first stimulus, but also allow adult dependents to qualify.

Because the Democratic measure was approved in May, before schools were contemplating how to begin another academic year safely with the virus still surging across the country, Ms. Pelosi has said she will now push for more than the $100 billion included in the package for education.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/us/politics/coronavirus-relief-bills-house-senate.html

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