A final COVID-19 stimulus bill will look a lot like the House’s HEROES Act. TPC’s Howard Gleckman thinks the White House and Senate Republicans already have conceded most key elements of the next relief bill. While their plan is just one-third the House’s $3 trillion size, $1 trillion is a lot of money. And it already includes a new round of stimulus payments, continued federal unemployment benefits, and tax credits for firms that hire or rehire workers—all key elements of the House bill. The big missing piece: Aid to state and local governments. The House wants about $1 trillion. The GOP’s first offer is nothing. The other hot button: McConnell’s proposed liability protection for firms and schools.
McConnell and the White House get squeezed from both sides. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the Senate GOP’s bill a non-starter, and “pathetic.” Some Senate Republicans pushed back against the Bill’s $1 trillion price tag and some special interest provisions tossed in to satisfy White House demands. In addition to coronavirus relief, the plan restores hundreds of millions of dollars in Pentagon spending that the Trump administration redirected to help pay for the president’s border wall. It also includes $2 billion for construction of a new FBI building across from the Trump Hotel in Washington DC. Talks continue.
Congress should recraft the EITC to help parents caring for children who can’t return to school full-time. TPC’s Elaine Maag argues “while the tax system cannot open the schools, Congress could offset some of the wage loss by extending the full earned income tax credit to people who are forced to stay home by the COVID-19 pandemic to care for children” or for aging parents.
Fast and Fraudulent. The US Department of Justice alleges that a 29-year-old Florida man fraudulently secured nearly $4 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans from Bank of America. Problem is, he had hardly any paychecks to protect, and used a chunk of the money to buy himself a Lamborghini sports car. Forbes reports that the man also made $30,000 in payments noted “Mom.”
Lawyers for President Trump cry foul, again. The Supreme Court rejected Trump’s argument that he is immune from criminal investigation. Now, his attorneys argue that a grand jury in the Southern District of New York cannot subpoena Trump’s financial records from the accounting firm Mazars USA because the request is a partisan fishing expedition and harassment of the president.
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