The negotiators worked through Friday evening to finalize the key details of the business cycle compromise, continue negotiations on how long unemployment benefits should last, how federal aid to small businesses should be distributed, and extend a federal eviction moratorium. The plan should revitalize the Paycheck Protection Program, a small business loan program.
Since Republicans insisted on keeping the total cost of the measure below $ 1 trillion, it was significantly less than the $ 2.2 trillion stimulus bill passed in March when the consequences of the pandemic were just becoming clear. It fell well short of the scope of recovery action most economists believe is necessary and will guarantee that Mr Biden will have to quickly tackle another rescue package, which he has already signaled will be his first priority.
The stimulus payments of $ 600 and weekly unemployment benefits of $ 300 per week were half the amounts approved at the time.
In the Senate, Senators Josh Hawley, Republicans of Missouri, and Bernie Sanders, regardless of Vermont, made renewed attempts to approve US $ 1,200 direct payments to Americans.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, also endorsed efforts to send another round of $ 1,200 direct payments.
Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson blocked both attempts, calling it “a shotgun approach” on Friday and criticizing broader efforts to send another round of taxpayers’ money to prop up the stuttering economy.
“We are not going to have learned the lessons of our very urgent, very urgent, very massive previous aid packages,” Johnson said in the Senate. “We’re just going to make more of it, another trillion dollars.”
The coverage was contributed by Jeanna Smialek, Nicholas Fandos, Luke Broadwater and Jim Tankersley.