Democrats introduce new $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill

The bill, which is unlikely to pass the GOP-led Senate, is an updated version of earlier legislation.

House Democrats introduced a new $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill aimed at breaking the impasse with Republicans on how to get financial assistance to Americans before the November election. 

The package, which is unlikely to pass the Republican-led Senate, is an updated version of earlier legislation. 

This screengrab captures House Speaker Nancy Pelosi participating in Saturday’s “Supercharge: Women All In,” a virtual day of action hosted by Supermajority. She and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have resumed negotiations over a new stimulus bill. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for Supermajority)

The bill includes another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, reauthorizes the small business lending program, as well as reinstates the $600 federal boost to unemployment benefits. 

Also included in the package is: 

  • $225 billion in education funding, with $182 billion for K-12 schools and about $39 billion for post-secondary education.
  • $120 billion in grants for restaurants.
  • $436 billion in assistance for state, local and tribal governments.
  • $75 billion for COVID-19 testing, tracing and isolation measures. 
  • Increased food assistance benefits.

An additional $15 billion in funding for the beleaguered United States Postal Service is also allotted. 

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Democrats and Republicans have been unable to decide on how much aid to provide as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into a seventh month. The unemployment benefit is a major point of contention as Republicans have said that it disincentivizes seeking work. 

Republicans have also been unwilling to provide aid to state or local governments. They presented their own $300 billion plan last month. 

“Democrats are making good on our promise to compromise with this updated bill, which is necessary to address the immediate health and economic crisis facing America’s working families right now,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in a letter to Democrats as the bill was unveiled. 

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The new bill is $1 trillion less than a previous bill presented in May. 

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, one of the lead White House negotiators, have resumed their dealing over a new stimulus plan, but they have not yet reached an agreement, according to Pelosi’s chief of staff, Drew Hammill. 

The House could move to pass the bill in their chambers this week, although passage through the Senate is seen as unlikely. 

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