US Stimulus Package Talks Continue After Sunday Stall

Credit: Evan Vucci/AP

Republicans and Democrats in the Senate could not come to a consensus over the weekend.

Last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin unveiled a plan to stimulate the United States economy in the midst of the coronavirus shutdown. This plan was brought to the Senate on Sunday to be voted on, but was shot down amid several criticisms from the Democratic members of the Senate.

The purpose of the package is to inject the economy with a large cash flow, creating a $500 billion lending program for businesses, cities, and states. Additionally, $350 billion would be set aside specifically to aid smaller businesses in meeting payroll costs. Possibly the most well-publicized aspect of the package is the sending of government checks to all US citizens; most adults would receive around $1,200, while most children would receive $500, which would be a boon to families.

Credit: The Hill

However, Democratic senators noted several flaws in the package’s current form. The Democratic senators said that too much money is being funneled toward businesses and corporations, while arguably equally important institutions like local governments and hospitals are losing out. A major sticking point is the $500 lending program, which would be overseen out by the Treasury Department. Some senators have labeled this Treasury-run lending program a “slush fund.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was unhappy with the Democratic senators, specifically Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Setting up the potential to rattle the markets until noon, all because he’s been unwilling to reach an agreement that his rank-and-file members and ours had pretty much reached before he and the speaker stepped in at the last minute and blew the deal up,” he said. “Now maybe there’ll be some miraculous coming together tonight, I hope so. If not we will now be voting at noon rather than 9:45.”

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