Pensions, Food Stamps, Infrastructure: What Congress Might Include in Its Next Coronavirus Relief Package


Congress remains to be working to move a $2 trillion financial stimulus that marks the third and most up-to-date emergency aid package deal because the rise of the coronavirus pandemic, however lawmakers have already got their sights set on “Phase 4” laws.

“There’s so many things we didn’t get in any of these bills yet in the way that we need to,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) mentioned Thursday.

Though no concrete plans but exist, members in each events and chambers say they’re eyeing a wide range of totally different proposals they consider might assist hamstrung companies, struggling staff and resource-strapped hospitals throughout the nation get again on their ft and deal with the inflow of sufferers.

But with lawmakers not planning to return to the nation’s capital till after Easter, it is probably one other measure will not be significantly thought of till after social distancing rules are relaxed and parts of the financial system start to reopen.

“A lot of it is gonna depend on how successful we are at defeating the disease and how quickly America can get back to work,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), a member of management, informed Newsweek.

Phase 1 allotted greater than $eight billion for native and state medical services, in addition to funds for analysis on coronavirus remedy and vaccines; Phase 2 expanded paid sick and household go away, elevated meals stamps, mandated free coronavirus testing and upped Medicaid; and Phase 3, which handed the Senate Wednesday evening and is slated to move the House Friday, is value $2 trillion and can give particular person checks to Americans, considerably broaden unemployment insurance coverage, present loans to small companies and bailout main industries.

From pupil debt and medical funding to pension plans and small companies, here is what some lawmakers have set their sights on for Phase 4.

Pensions, Food Stamps, Infrastructure: What Congress Might Include in Its Next Coronavirus Relief Package
The US Capitol Building on March 25 in Washington, DC. The US Senate unanimously handed an enormous aid package deal on Wednesday for Americans and companies ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic as New York hospitals braced for a wave of virus sufferers. Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP/Getty

Pelosi: clarification for who qualifies for household and medical go away, handle pensions, office well being and security requirements, improve meals stamps, extra medical protection for treating and recovering from coronavirus, further funding for state and native governments and extra money for D.C.

A senior Democratic aide informed Newsweek they proposed the Butch Lewis Act, multi-employer pension reform that may search to deal with cuts to pensions with low-interest loans. Pelosi mentioned Thursday the availability was stripped by Republicans from the textual content of the newest stimulus, however that she obtained assurances that President Donald Trump was supportive of the concept.

“We are not so committed to an approach that we can’t negotiate a solution,” the aide mentioned.

Pelosi additionally accused Republicans of refusing to incorporate Democratic requires a 15 % improve in meals stamps, one thing she mentioned Congress ought to revisit in Phase 4.

In the third stimulus package deal, Washington, D.C., was severely shortchanged as a result of it was handled as a territory quite than a state. As a end result, the district will obtain simply $500 million in federal funds quite than the $1.25 billion that states get.

“In this bill, they decided to treat the District of Columbia in a very discriminatory way,” Pelosi mentioned.

Barrasso: infrastructure and fewer overseas dependence for vital provides, comparable to drugs.

A bipartisan infrastructure bill Barrasso is pushing would put aside $287 billion for roads and bridges over the following half-decade.

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee): extra prescription drug manufacturing.

Blackburn is the sponsor of a bipartisan bill that may improve the U.S. manufacturing of energetic pharmaceutical components that may lower dependence on overseas nations, significantly China, for important medication and stop antibiotic shortages.

“We’ve got to start to say how do you make certain this never happens again?” she informed Newsweek.

Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Penn.): extra particular person checks and pupil debt aid.

Dean informed Newsweek she’d wish to see further tax rebate checks issued to Americans on a quarterly foundation during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We know that this is not a once and done, but $1,200 per person is better than nothing,” she mentioned. “We’ll just have to go back and be more aggressive to get cash in people’s hands.”

Dean, like many different Democrats, wish to see the federal authorities forgive—quite than merely droop—$10,000 of pupil mortgage debt for every particular person and permit interest-free funds till the pandemic subsides.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): aid for small companies.

Rubio performed a significant position within the third package deal’s provisions on small companies, which supplied $350 billion in loans and mortgage ensures, parts of which will likely be forgiven.

“I think it’s possible that we may have to come back and invest more,” he informed Newsweek. “I think we will most certainly begin to deal with some of the supply chain disruptions that we’ve seen.”