Mitch McConnel introduced the HEALS Act monday, a $1 trillion COVID-19 relief package


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel introduced the HEALS Act monday, a proposal for COVID-19 relief (CNBC). ~

The proposal costs about $1 trillion, including $105 billion for schools, $16 billion for testing, $26 billion for vaccine development, a second round of direct payments for individuals and families, a second round of forgivable small business loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), tax incentives for employers to rehire, retain employees, and retrofit offices to reopen, and liability protection for businesses, schools, hospitals, and nonprofits (CNN). It will also include a $200 dollar unemployment benefit enhancement, just as the prior $600 benefit expires. This benefit is designed to switch to 70% of the applicant’s prior wages by September (Forbes). ~

This new proposal is similar in some ways to the previous COVID-19 stimulus package, the CARES Act. The stimulus checks are laid out almost exactly the same, with the same income requirements and dollar amounts given, though there were calls from Democrats to cover adult dependents as well as those 17 and younger (CNBC). However, the unemployment benefits are different, as many Republicans worry that the continuation of the benefits of the CARES Act would discourage people from returning to work (Forbes). Also unlike the CARES Act, the HEALS Act does not yet include an eviction moratorium, which many Democrats consider necessary after eviction protections ended on the 24th (Forbes). ~

Democrats have concerns about the Republican’s bill, especially the reduction of prior unemployment benefits (CNN). The Democrats bill from the house, the HEROES Act, addresses many of the Democatic concerns, but costs approximately $3 trillion. The Republican party is likely to have significant concerns over the price tag of the next stimulus package, with some even noted to have disagreements with McConnel’s proposal due to its $1 trillion cost (CNN). While there may be significant disagreements between the parties, both parties are expected to support the stimulus check measure of the HEALS Act (Forbes). ~


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