Don’t Expect New Stimulus Relief Bill Until August, Top House Republican Says

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
July 21, 2020Updated: July 21, 2020

The top House Republican revealed that the forthcoming stimulus package to provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic will not likely be passed until next month.

It means that a key provision of the CARES Act, the extra $600-per-week in unemployment insurance, will expire before then. Democrats want to keep the provision until early next year, while Republicans want to change the policy to reduce—or eliminate—the sum altogether.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in an interview on Tuesday: “I envision that this bill doesn’t get done by the end of July.”

“We’re probably in the first week of August before we make this happen,” he added, saying that he expects there to be disagreements with Democrats over liability protections and unemployment insurance, which will hold up the process.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is also expected to unveil the GOP’s proposed package next week, including liability protections for businesses that reopen during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, new tax credits for businesses, and possibly stimulus payments.

The GOP bill will also likely exclude additional aid to local and state governments.

House Democrats passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act in May, but Senate Republicans described it as unrealistic and too costly. Republicans like McConnell and White House officials have said they want to keep the measure at around $1 trillion, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters earlier this month that it wouldn’t go far enough.

Epoch Times Photo
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin bumps elbows with Rep. Kevin Hern after testifying at the Capitol in Washington, on July 17, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Reuters)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is due to host a meeting on Tuesday afternoon to speak about pandemic relief with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Mnuchin and Meadows will meet separately with Senate Republicans.

“We hope they’re going to be unified and present something to us, present something to us in detail,” Schumer told CNN.

On Monday, Mnuchin told reporters that the next round of stimulus will focus on having children return to schools and workers heading back to their jobs, as well as developing a vaccine to curb the spread of the virus.

“We’ll have tax credits for PPE, for safe work environments, and we’re going to have big incentives, money to the states for education, for schools that can open safely and do education,” the Treasury secretary said, referring to the Payment Protection Program that was established under the CARES Act passed in March.

Reuters contributed to this report.