Senate Republicans on Monday will announce a new stimulus package to boost the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
“The bill will be introduced Monday and we’re prepared to act quickly. This is all about kids and jobs. This is our focus, and we want to make sure something gets passed quickly so that we deal with the unemployment and all the other issues,” Mnuchin told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.
Mnuchin said on Sunday that the top priorities include liability protections for businesses amid the pandemic, along with unemployment insurance.
Under the CARES Act, workers on state unemployment benefits would receive an additional $600 a week from the federal government. Many Republicans believe the boosted unemployment benefits are hurting the economy. Mnuchin said the Republican package would replace 70% of a person’s wages if they lost their job instead of the $600 additional payments.
“We can move very quickly with the Democrats on these issues. We’ve moved quickly before, and I see no reason why we can’t move quickly again,” Mnuchin continued. “And if there are issues that take longer, we’ll deal with those as well.”
House Democrats in May passed the $3 trillion Heroes Act, providing another $1,200 stimulus check to Americans, extending the current $600 a week boosted unemployment insurance, and allocating federal aid to state and local governments. Although Republicans have rejected the legislation, they will need to negotiate with Democratic leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in order to pass another stimulus package.
The economy is suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with about 30 million Americans on unemployment benefits. The Atlanta Fed projects that GDP could fall as much as 35.5% in the second quarter of the year due to the virus.