Congress begins work on third economic stimulus bill for the coronavirus crisis

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Congress began work on a third economic stimulus bill to deal with the impact of the coronavirus, but still hasn't finished work on the second bill.

Lawmakers began negotiating a third economic stimulus bill to prevent the U.S. economy from cracking under the weight of the coronavirus epidemic even as efforts stalled Monday to finish work on a second bill thatThe snag over the House-passed bill reflected the rapidly changing response to the economic impact of the coronavirus. House Democrats and Treasury Secretary Steven T.

Already, lawmakers are considering what would go into a third stimulus package in light of new demands on Americans asked to stay inside and away from work, hospitals that are preparing for a crush of new patients and an airline industry that says it will need billions of dollars in support. Republicans also gathered ideas. Sen. Mitt Romney proposed giving a $1,000 check to each American adult to help people meet their short-term financial needs. He would also provide grants to small businesses, defer education loans and require insurance companies to temporarily cover tele-health. Notably, his plan dovetails with some of the Democrats’ plans.

Sen. Tom Cotton predicted that Senate Republicans would not vote for the House bill without changes. But the bill exempts companies with 500 or more employees. That was done with the understanding that many large employers already provide such a benefit. That threshold was not changed. Also hampering quick movement was the fact that the vast majority of House members left Washington after the vote on Saturday. Though Pelosi can go to the House floor to ask for approval of any final changes she and Mnuchin negotiate, any House member can block that fast-track process from happening.


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