McConnell circulates revised GOP coronavirus stimulus plan
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell circulated a new framework for coronavirus stimulus legislation to Republican members on Tuesday that would establish a fresh round of funding for the small-business Paycheck Protection Program and implement widespread liability protections, according to a copy of the draft proposal obtained by Axios.
Driving the news: The revised GOP relief plan comes after McConnell's meeting with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, during which they went over in detail what provisions would get backing from President Trump.
The draft outline includes:
- $332.7 billion in small business relief, including $257.7 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
- $10 billion Treasury loan to USPS.
- $105 billion to “help get students back in school” and provide resources for continued learning.
- $16 billion for testing, contact tracing and surveillance in states.
- $31 billion for vaccine, therapeutic and diagnostic development, vaccine distribution, the Strategic National Stockpile, and grants for state stockpiles.
- $20 billion of additional farm assistance.
- $500 million of federal assistance for fisheries, fishery participants and communities affected by COVID.
- $5 billion to directly support child care providers.
The big picture: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also spoke with Mnuchin on Tuesday about a “bipartisan path” for coronavirus relief — the first such talk since Oct. 26.
- Pelosi said any stimulus proposal must ensure the vaccine is free and accessible to everyone.
- Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also sent a draft proposal to GOP leadership and the White House this week, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers unveiled their own framework earlier Tuesday morning.
Between the lines: The parties are still far apart on key priorities, leaving many lawmakers skeptical over whether a comprehensive deal is possible before Trump leaves office.
- However, it may be more feasible to tie some of the widely agreed upon provisions to the government funding bill that must pass by year's end to avert a shutdown.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that Kevin McCarthy is House minority leader.