“We raised our offer to $1.6 trillion,” McEnany told reporters Thursday. “It’s one that she is is not interested in.”
The ramped-up negotiations come as challenging economic news continues to confront policymakers. The airlines are furloughing about 30,000 workers with the expiration of aid passed earlier this year and a report Thursday showed 787,000 people claiming jobless benefits for the first time last week.
Mnuchin and Pelosi spoke by phone early Thursday afternoon, but the speaker was publicly dismissive of the latest White House plan.
“This isn’t half a loaf, this is the heel of the loaf,” Pelosi said in a Thursday interview on Bloomberg TV.
The speaker and treasury secretary were expected to speak by phone again later Thursday.
If the House and Senate agree on the House’s revised stimulus package, there are many incentives in store for Americans still feeling the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are a few key points to the updated Heroes Act:
It’s smaller than the stimulus bill that passed earlier this year.
The new package is about $1.2 trillion less than the Democrats' original HEROES Act, which was approved in May. Though the Democrats and Republicans have been at odds over what to offer, Mnuchin said earlier this week that they agree on some key factors: Paycheck Protection Program, funding for schools and more stimulus checks.
The unemployment payments would increase.
The new bill proposes that the extra $600 unemployment benefits would return to those millions of Americans out of work. The extra payments would be retroactive from Sept. 6 and continue through Jan. 31, offering more than four months of additional jobless aid to millions of families. The nation’s unemployment rate has greatly improved since the coronavirus led to a soaring rate of 14.7% in April, according to CBS News. The unemployment rate was back down to about 8.4% in August, with more than 21 million Americans remaining jobless, according to an estimate from the Economic Policy Institute.
Many states are providing an additional $300 in jobless aid directed by President Donald Trump through an August executive order.
If it passes, $1,200 checks will be doled out to millions of Americans.
A second stimulus payment would mirror the initial round of checks, which was authorized in March by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. The $1,200 checks would be available to individual taxpayers with incomes of up to $75,000. Married taxpayers with incomes of up to $150,000 would receive $2,400, and each additional dependent would qualify for $500. The payments would reduce as income increases, with the checks completely phasing out for those single taxpayers making $99,000 and above annually.
More adults will qualify for payments.
A change in the update stimulus bill is that children over age 17 would still receive the $500 payments. Previously, the dependent benefit was only for children 17 and younger. If passed, the bill would allow for older high school students and college students to qualify for those benefits.
Democrats and Republicans will eventually have to agree on it.
Even if it passes, the bill won’t become law without the support of Republicans in the Senate. The major outstanding sticking points are more aid for state and local governments, which Democrats champion, and liability protections for businesses and schools, a Republican priority. Some experts say it’s unlikely the agreement on the amount and scope of the bill will come to fruition this week. For context, the Senate, which is run by Republicans, has issued its latest stimulus proposal containing $300 billion in new money — a world apart from the $2.2 trillion the Democrats hope to get approved.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.