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Mnuchin’s $916 Billion Stimulus Plan Includes Business Protections

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he presented a new $916 billion COVID-19 relief bill to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, signaling the first move from the President Donald Trump administration to pass a stimulus bill since the election last month, Bloomberg reported.

In a statement on Twitter, Mnuchin said he had talked the plan over with Republican leaders as well as Trump.

Mnuchin said in the statement that he spoke with Pelosi at 5 p.m. on Tuesday (Dec. 8. He said the new proposal includes “money for state and local governments and robust liability protections for businesses, schools and universities.” Those issues held up the bipartisan talks on a $908 billion proposal last week.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said he couldn’t see a reason for the new plan to be rejected, adding it is “a much better product,” Bloomberg reported.

The Mnuchin plan also includes individual stimulus checks, which both parties have voiced support for, with $600 per qualifying adult and another $600 per child. The checks would come in place of the $300-a-week temporary unemployment benefits included in the previous proposal. Other unemployment benefits, including one for gig workers and others for those that have exhausted their 13 weeks of unemployment benefits, would be extended under Mnuchin’s new proposal, according to Bloomberg.

In addition, Mnuchin’s idea also consists of $160 billion in aid for state and local authorities, according to an unnamed source cited by Bloomberg, which would be the same scale as the $908 billion plan, and another $100 billion for education funding.

The proposals for a new stimulus plan have been gridlocked for months, with both sides seeming unable to find ways to compromise. Democrats have favored more wide-ranging, expensive proposals while Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have wanted more targeted kinds of reforms.

Leaders from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said that a new stimulus is gravely needed in order to stave off a “double-dip recession,” with one of the most dire points of need being for more Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds.

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