- Negotiations on another coronavirus relief package failed to produce a deal by Election Day.
- The odds that Congress will enact a federal rescue package with $1,200 stimulus checks in a “lame-duck” session appear low.
- Here’s a breakdown of seven differences between both parties on a relief package, including childcare, federal unemployment benefits, overall spending, and testing.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Election Day is here, but talks between the Trump administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over another coronavirus relief package failed to produce a coronavirus relief deal after over a month of negotiations.
While the White House and Democrats agree on another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for taxpayers, as well as assistance to small businesses and airlines, they’ve clashed on numerous other measures.
President Donald Trump has expressed support for another large stimulus package — and suggested in the past he could back a larger package than what Democrats have offered.
“Once we get past the election, we’re going to get it. It may be bipartisan, it may not have to be,” Trump said in a recent podcast interview. “Right after the election, we’ll get it one way or the other.”
The dynamics around a deal get complicated on the Republican side. Senate Republicans diverge from the White House and many GOP senators oppose further relief spending to prop up the economy, citing the growing national debt. They twice unveiled a $500 billion relief bill which Democrats blocked both times.
The stalemate may push the passage of a coronavirus relief bill into early next year, unless lawmakers strike an agreement during a lame-duck session when they must act to prevent a government shutdown before December 11. It’s unclear whether Trump’s position will change after the election.
Here’s a breakdown of seven policy disagreements that are holding up another stimulus package.
Democrats have insisted on at least $2.2 trillion in additional spending to prop up people, businesses, and public-health agencies. The House earlier this month passed a slimmed-down version of the $3.4 trillion Heroes Act from May. The latest legislation includes more stimulus checks, among other provisions.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration made a $1.8 trillion offer to Democrats. In recent weeks, the White House has increased the amount it’s willing to spend. But it faces significant opposition from Senate Republicans who are reluctant to support a price tag of that size, reducing the odds that a bipartisan deal will become law.
Read more: A $2.5 billion investment chief highlights the stock-market sectors poised to benefit the most if stimulus is passed after the election — and says Trump ending negotiations doesn’t threaten the economic recovery
Federal unemployment benefits
While both parties agree that the government should supplement state unemployment checks, they’re quarreling over the amount.
Democrats have not moved away from calling for the restoration of the $600 federal weekly unemployment benefit through January. They’ve argued that unemployment remains high in an economy displaying renewed signs of weakness, such as slowing job growth.
The Trump administration offered a $400 weekly federal supplement. Some Republicans are still critical, saying it would disincentivize work and set back the economic recovery.
Pelosi and other Democrats have cited the lack of a national coronavirus testing and tracing strategy as a key reason they rejected the administration’s offer.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that the differences between the sides are “overblown” and that the administration would accept the Democratic position with few changes.
But Democrats dismissed the new legislative language as insufficient and called for bigger changes.
Tax credits for low-income Americans
The expanded child tax credit would provide a modest monthly payment to people who have smaller incomes or don’t earn enough to file taxes.
The Trump administration’s newest plan doesn’t include funding to expand either credit, which Democrats have argued is necessary to help struggling families and unemployed people.
Aid to states
Republicans have derided a “blue-state bailout,” saying it would provide funds for states to shore up pensions and use the money for measures unrelated to the pandemic.
But some Republican governors have also called for federal aid.
Democrats’ latest economic aid package includes $57 billion to bolster childcare providers. Advocates have said many are grappling with the loss of revenue and increased operating expenses, forcing many providers to close.
The administration’s plan does include an unspecified amount of funding for childcare. But Pelosi told ABC News on Sunday it was insufficient and that Democrats would continue pressing for more.
Liability protections for businesses
Republicans are seeking a liability shield for businesses to protect them from coronavirus-related lawsuits from workers and customers through the Safe to Work Act. They say a wave of lawsuits could deter employers from reopening and could harm the economy.
Democrats lambasted this step as an unacceptable measure, with Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York last month calling it “a poison pill.” They’ve pressed to strengthen workplace protections and safety standards through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal regulatory agency.