President Joe Biden and a group of ten Senate Republicans have offered competing proposals to help the United States respond to the coronavirus pandemic and provide financial relief to businesses and families.
The president will meet with senators on Monday in the White House in what press secretary Jen Psaki described as “an exchange of ideas” and not a forum for Biden to “leave or accept an offer.” Meanwhile, Democratic leaders in Congress are laying the groundwork for addressing Biden’s proposals in the coming weeks.
The top numbers are as follows: The city’s plan calls for an additional $ 1.9 trillion in federal spending. The ten GOP senators are calling for about $ 618 billion in federal spending.
The support would go beyond the $ 900 billion coronavirus package approved by Congress in December and the $ 2.2 trillion package approved in March.
A look at the big differences:
Support for individuals
Biden suggests $ 1,400 checks for individuals earning less than $ 75,000. The amount would be $ 2,800 for couples earning less than $ 150,000.
The ten GOP senators are seeking $ 1,000 checks. They would go to individuals earning less than $ 40,000 a year and start phasing out with a hard cover of $ 50,000 a year. The payment would increase to $ 2,000 for couples earning up to $ 80,000 and be settled with a hard cap of $ 100,000 per year.
Support for state and local authorities
The bid would send $ 350 billion to state and local governments to ease cuts in services and keep police, firefighters and other government workers at work.
The Republican senators did not include any direct relief for state and local governments in their proposals. There has been strong opposition in the GOP to such aid, and many argue that it would reward states for poor tax management.
Support for schools
Biden proposes $ 170 billion for education. Most of the money would go to schools for students in kindergarten through 12th grade to compensate for the necessary costs to reopen safely. About $ 35 billion would be directed at universities and colleges.
The Republican plan sets aside $ 20 billion for schools that serve kindergarten through 12th grade as part of an initiative to get children back to school.
Minimum wage increase
The village plan includes a gradual increase in the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour. The plan by GOP senators does not address the federal minimum wage, which is now $ 7.25 an hour.
Biden proposes $ 40 billion in federal spending on child care. Within that amount, $ 25 billion would go to an “emergency stabilization fund” to help child care providers compensate for necessary expenses to resume or stay open. An additional $ 15 billion would go to a long-term blockchain program that subsidizes childcare costs for low-income families with children under 13. Biden is also calling for increased tax credits to cover the costs of childcare.
The ten GOP senators are calling for a $ 20 billion boost to that blockchain program.
Biden wants a $ 400 per week unemployment insurance benefit, a $ 100 increase from the current law, through September. His plan would also extend the scope to self-employed workers, such as non-riders, who are not normally entitled to unemployment insurance benefits.
The GOP plan also extends unemployment benefits, but to $ 300 per week through June 30.
Vaccines and testing
Both proposals provide $ 160 billion to increase vaccinations and COVID-19 testing, which essentially enables the country to start vaccination centers, buy faster tests, expand laboratory capacity and purchase personal protective equipment for first-time inspectors.