The Trump administration Tuesday announced that it had offered a $916 billion stimulus proposal to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that would include include both state and local aid and liability protections for businesses and schools—two contentious provisions holding up bipartisan negotiations that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has suggested be removed altogether in order to expedite a deal.
The proposal is separate from both a $908 billion framework put forward by a bipartisan group of centrist Senators and a much-smaller package put forward by McConnell last week.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that the plan would be funded using $140 billion in unused funds from the Paycheck Protection Program and $429 billion from the Treasury Department (likely the unused emergency funds Mnuchin asked the Federal Reserve to return last month).
He added that he and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had reviewed the new proposal with President Trump, McConnell, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
What We Don’t Know
Whether stimulus checks—which have also emerged as a hot button issue during negotiations this week—are included in the White House’s plan, though President Trump supports the provision and the White House has pushed lawmakers to include them in the $908 billion bipartisan plan, the Washington Post reported. Top Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told ABC’s This Week Sunday that another round of direct payments would cost about $300 billion and had been excluded from the package to make the price tag more palatable to Senate Republicans.
“Leader McConnell’s efforts to undermine good-faith, bipartisan negotiations are appalling,” Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday following McConnell’s remarks about removing state and local aid and liability protections from the $908 billion plan under consideration. “With vaccine distribution being administered by the states, state and local funding is central to our efforts to crush the virus.”