Even With House’s Relief Plan Expected To Be DOA In Senate, GOP Has No Plans To Release Their Own
The House passed a $3 trillion relief package on Friday, but there's been basically zero bipartisan talk between the two parties that would signal Republicans are ready to move forward with actual negotiations.
Congress Nowhere Close To A Coronavirus Deal As Unemployment Spikes
Americans hoping for the next round of coronavirus relief will probably be waiting for weeks — if not much longer. Though House Democrats on Friday passed a sweeping, $3 trillion stimulus bill built around aid for local governments and a fresh batch of direct payments to the public, the Republican Senate majority has no immediate plans to produce an alternative. Instead, senators are expected to consider a handful of lifetime judicial appointments this week and then head home for the Memorial Day recess. (Everett, 5/17)
Pelosi Sees Negotiations On New $3 Trillion Coronavirus Legislation: CBS
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday there will be negotiations on the new $3 trillion coronavirus relief legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and that Democrats have “no red lines.” Asked if there has been a Republican response or counteroffer to begin negotiations on the bill passed late on Friday, Pelosi said, “No bill that is proffered will become law without negotiations, so, yeah.” (5/17)
The Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Expected To Revise Small-Business Aid Program
Lawmakers and government officials are preparing to make significant changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, amid cooling demand for government-backed loans and criticism from business owners who say they can’t tap the funds. The changes are likely to include giving businesses more flexibility to spend the money, according to lawmakers and others following the deliberations. Under the original terms, 75% of the funds were required to be spent on employee salaries for the loans to be forgiven. (Hayashi, 5/17)
Senate Should Improve House Coronavirus Package: Sen. Bernie Sanders
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said that the Senate should improve a House coronavirus package spearheaded by Democratic leadership. "Now I think what (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi did in the house, it is significant. It is important. I have some disagreements with it, and I want to see the Senate improve on it," Sanders told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos. (Arnholz, 5/17)
Pelosi Stresses Urgency For Next Relief Bill: Hunger, Joblessness Don't 'Take A Pause'
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday stressed the urgency of passing the next coronavirus relief bill as Republicans suggest waiting to see how state reopenings and the distribution of funds already allocated in previous stimulus packages impact the country. “Time is very important. We have lost time, but, again, setting aside how we got here, we can not take a pause,” Pelosi said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” (Klar, 5/17)
What Did Eight Weeks And $3 Trillion Buy The U.S. In The Fight Against Coronavirus?
Unemployment checks are flowing, $490 billion has been shipped to small businesses, and the U.S. Federal Reserve has put about $2.5 trillion and counting behind domestic and global markets. Fears of overwhelmed hospitals and millions of U.S. deaths from the new coronavirus have diminished, if not disappeared. Yet two months into the United States’ fight against the most severe pandemic to arise in the age of globalization, neither the health nor the economic war has been won. Many analysts fear the country has at best fought back worst-case outcomes. (Schneider, 5/18)
In other news from Capitol Hill —
U.S. Mulls Paying Companies, Tax Breaks To Pull Supply Chains From China
U.S. lawmakers and officials are crafting proposals to push American companies to move operations or key suppliers out of China that include tax breaks, new rules, and carefully structured subsidies. Interviews with a dozen current and former government officials, industry executives and members of Congress show widespread discussions underway - including the idea of a “reshoring fund” originally stocked with $25 billion - to encourage U.S. companies to drastically revamp their relationship with China. (Shala, Alper and Zengerle, 5/18)
Senator Rubio Calls For Fast Action To Extend U.S. Payroll Protection Program
The United States needs to quickly revise its coronavirus aid program for small businesses to extend the eight-week period in which the law currently requires companies to spend the money, a key U.S. senator said on Sunday. (Cornwell, 5/17)
Warren Says Death Of Brother From COVID-19 'Feels Like Something That Didn't Have To Happen'
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in an interview with The Atlantic published Sunday that her oldest brother's death from the coronavirus "feels like something that didn't have to happen." Warren told The Atlantic's Edward-Isaac Dovere that her brother Donald Reed Herring had recently recovered from a bout of pneumonia when he was sickened with COVID-19 earlier this year, and was still in the hospital when he tested positive. (Bowden, 5/17)