The Senate will vote next Tuesday on a bill to extend the resources of the Salary Protection Program (PPP, in English), which offers help to small businesses to pay wages and resist the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic; and the next day, Wednesday, he will try to pass a half-billion-dollar economic aid package that was already failed in September by the Democratic opposition.
The president, Donald Trump, has been on Twitter against this plan, because he prefers more ambitious proposals that include a second check for 1,200 dollars for citizens; Nor are the Democrats backing it because they advocate an even bigger bill that includes social benefits for those hit by the brutal economic recession.
The leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, indicated this Saturday that the bill that will be voted on Wednesday includes new unemployment benefits (such as those approved by Congress in the spring of 600 dollars a week, which ended in July, although smaller amounts), as well as funds for small businesses, to increase the number of diagnostic tests, and improve protective measures in schools.
McConnell again criticized the Democratic Party today, and in particular the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, for the stalemate in the negotiations.
The Democrats, however, have approved their plan in the House of Representatives, of 2.2 billion dollars and with a check of 1,200 dollars for citizens and 600 benefits for the unemployed. But it was stalled in the Senate by opposition from Republicans, so the lack of understanding and the blockade is mutual.
“Nobody thinks that this proposal of more than 500,000 million dollars will solve all the problems forever. It would provide huge amounts of additional help to workers and families at this time while Washington continues to argue about the rest, ”McConnell said in any event in a statement.
Pelosi, for her part, has criticized the president for his changing positions regarding the economic recovery plan; A few days ago, after recovering from COVID-19, Trump said that he would no longer seek approval of the aid package, and had to rectify shortly thereafter in the face of criticism even from his party; he is now lobbying the Senate to pass a plan that includes the $ 1,200 check, while McConnell moves in the opposite direction.
“All the president wants is his name on a check. Cast. We are here to honor our heroes, squash the virus, put money in the pockets of the American people, beyond a check with their name, “said Pelosi on ABC.
There are only a few weeks left until the November 3 elections, where it is decided whether Trump remains in the White House, in addition to renewing the House of Representatives and more than a third of the Senate.
This week, progress on the plan was reported after a conversation between Pelosi and Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, who said he will accept “with minor modifications” the Democratic proposal on testing, monitoring and surveillance of the virus, according to the spokesman for the leader of the House of Representatives, Drew Hammill.
Meanwhile, applications for unemployment benefits in the United States this week reached 898,000, according to a report from the Labor Department. In addition, 10.7 million of the 22 million jobs that have been lost during the economic crisis caused by the pandemic are still pending, according to the Associated Press agency.
Economists agree that, in the absence of an agreement between Congress and the Trump administration, the consequences would be serious for the country’s economy, according to CNN.
With information from CNN and AP.
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