Congress returns this week with just days to pass another coronavirus relief bill, something promising to be an election-year battle between the parties, with both sides digging in to earn a last mark to campaign on.
Democrats want to extend unemployment surplus payments of $600 per week through the end of this presidential term, while Republicans will object wholly, if not demand a reduction to $400 or $200 per week, because that payment has disincentivized workers from getting back to work.
President Donald Trump also suggested he might veto any coronavirus impact bill if it does not include payroll tax cuts to benefit those actually willing to work and perhaps immunity protections for businesses barring them from liability against COVID-19 lawsuits for reopening.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., expects to have a proposal from the Senate in days.
"We don't need an epidemic of lawsuits on the heels of the pandemic," McConnell said Monday, per CNBC.
Direct payments to Americans have appeared to be one of bipartisan agreement, but those above conditions might stand to sink it all in the next week as the Democrat-led House passes one agenda and the GOP-led Senate seeks to pass another.
Among the other hot-button issues will be aid for state and local governments, direct payments to individuals, and rent and mortgage assistance.
"Unfortunately, by all accounts the Senate Republicans are drafting legislation that comes up short in a number of vital areas, such as extending unemployment benefits or funding for rental assistance, hazard premium pay for frontline workers, or investments in communities of color being ravaged by the virus, and many other necessary provisions," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote. "Democrats will need to fight hard for these important provisions."
As Republicans seek more "recovery" than economic "stimulus," a tough fight just might sink everything this summer, particularly if it is something Trump might not sign anyway as one of his last major bills of the final months before the re-election campaign kicks into full gear before the November election.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.