Republicans and Democrats appear to be $2 trillion apart on their plans for another economic stimulus package, and meeting somewhere in the middle will be necessary to give the economy the boost it needs.
Senate Republicans and the White House have put forth a $1 trillion package while House Democrats have proposed $3 trillion. Republicans would lower the current extra unemployment payments per week from $600 to $200 while Democrats think workers need the $600 payments until the end of the year.
We think the $600 payments could be modified downward. It’s been well-documented that some workers made more money by not working and taking unemployment than they would have working. It’s a sad statement on the level of wages Americans get paid, but the $600 was authorized at the worst moment of the pandemic when everything was shutting down. Some businesses have reopened and the needs are not as critical now.
A modified form of unemployment in the Republican plan that gives workers about 70 percent of their pay seems more reasonable.
Democrats want to direct funds in their plan to states and local government and so far Senate Republicans haven’t gone along with that plan. The Republican plan would offer billions more to help schools reopen.
But a proposed new FBI building put in the Republican plan at the request of the White House should be removed. It has nothing to do with the pandemic relief.
The Senate GOP plan would also add $100 billion to the payroll protection plan that seems to have been a great help for business to keep employees working.
It’s important Republicans and Democrats come to agreement soon, and the pandemic relief package shouldn’t be a victim of partisan squabbling. A bad economy doesn’t wait for Congress before it gets worse.