Congress temporarily averted a government shutdown Friday evening, as lawmakers passed a two-day bill to temporarily fund the government. President Trump signed the bill before its midnight deadline, enabling Congressional leaders to continue their debate over Covid relief checks and other stimulus measures.
Nearly $1 trillion is at stake as lawmakers negotiate another economic relief package. At issue–a Republican proposal to limit the Federal Reserve’s providing of credit for businesses. Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, aims to suspend $400 billion in potential Federal Reserve lending power. The lending power was granted during the first coronavirus stimulus.
Meanwhile, without an additional stimulus bill, millions of unemployed workers will lose their special covid-19 unemployment benefits. The moratorium on evictions will also elapse.
Lawmakers want to award more than $300 billion to businesses, as well as $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits (along with a renewal of state benefits.)
More Stimulus Checks?
The bill provides for $600 in direct payments to individuals (which many lawmakers are trying to push $1200.) Trump, himself, is reported to want as much as $2000 in aide to each American.
In addition, money for vaccine distribution is included, as well as funds for renters, public schools, the postal service, and those in need of food.
Numerous fiscal conservatives question the massive stimulus plan arguing that this is money we do not have. As such, we’re effectively kicking the can down the road to the next generation. If lawmakers would allow businesses to reopen, they insist, then the economy would emerge from this lockdown intact.