Posted by 24 March 2020
Democrats in the House and Senate are trying to come to agreement on a bipartisan stimulus bill to respond to the coronavirus epidemic. In the House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has outlined her view on what the government’s response should be – and Republicans are quick to blast her ideas as well outside the mainstream.
Under Speaker Pelosi’s bill, the federal government would, among other things:
- Send monthly checks to of $2,000 per adult and $1,000 per child to individuals who make under $115,000 (and households with incomes under $230,000)
- Expand the power of unions to organize workers
- Forgive $10,000 in student loans for each borrower
- Mandate family leave for larger companies
- Spend $600 billion in small business assistance
- Spend $100 billion in assistance for low-income renters
- Mandate that businesses receiving money from this bill must pay workers at least $15 an hour
Speaker Pelosi says these provisions are necessary to protect workers and ensure that corporations do not take advantage of government aid. Critics, however, argue that the is using this crisis as a way to enact a liberal wish list that has little to do with the epidemic.
The Senate legislation that is likely to pass today does not contain many of the ideas proposed by Speaker Pelosi. It is unclear what will happen when the Senate bill reaches the House of Representatives. If Speaker Pelosi insists on passing a version of her legislation, it would set up lengthy negotiations with the Senate and the president in order to see this third coronavirus relief legislation enacted.
Do you support mandating a higher minimum wage for workers in companies that accept coronavirus aid? Should a coronavirus relief bill include provisions for federal student loan forgiveness?