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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Liz Lynch/Getty Images

House Democrats are preparing a slimmed-down coronavirus relief proposal focused on unemployment and direct payments that would cost roughly $2.4 trillion.

Why it matters: Democrats and Republicans have been deadlocked in negotiations for more aid despite CARES Act funds expiring over the summer.

The state of play: The bill would include unemployment insurance, direct payments, small-business loan funding and aid for airlines. The price tag is about $1 trillion less than the House's previous plan.

What they're saying: Currently, there are no specific plans to bring the bill to the floor and there is no deadline, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday.

  • “I don’t have an expectation at this point in time, because our focus is we want to get a deal or an agreement with [Treasury Secretary Steven] Mnuchin and the Senate because we want a bill passed and signed so that’s what our focus is — trying to get an agreement before we go home," Hoyer said.
  • House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said, "I think we’re headed toward a resurgence of the virus in the fall, and until we defeat the virus, you’re not going to have full economic recovery."

The other side: Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) called the bill's introduction "a waste of time."

  • "[Pelosi] could pass 10 more partisan bills. That won't get us closer to helping these small businesses and families. It's just another wasted exercise."

Go deeper

McConnell: "No realistic path to quickly pass" stimulus check increase

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday he does not see a "realistic path to quickly pass" a House-approved standalone measure for $2,000 stimulus checks, despite calls from President Trump for increased payments.

Why it matters: The move effectively kills any pathway to pass the bill before the end of the the 116th Congress.

Capitol repairs, security top $30M since Jan. 6 attacks

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton on Wednesday said that repairs and security expenses related to the Jan. 6 insurrection have already cost more than $30 million.

The state of play: Congressional appropriations committees have allocated the $30 million for repairs and perimeter fencing around the Capitol building through March 31, per NPR.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

White House stands by imperiled Tanden nomination after Senate panel postpones hearing

Neera Tanden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is postponing a confirmation hearing scheduled Wednesday for Neera Tanden, Axios has learned, a potential death knell for President Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

The latest: Asked Wednesday afternoon whether Tanden has offered to withdraw her nomination, Psaki told reporters, "That’s not the stage we’re in." She noted that it's a "numbers game" and a "matter of getting one Republican" to support the nomination.