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The White House unveils a new stimulus package with $400 weekly unemployment benefits and $1,200 checks

October 1, 2020, 1:10 PM UTC

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During a closed-door meeting on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the White House’s biggest stimulus offer yet.

The White House upped its stimulus offer from $1.3 trillion to $1.6 trillion. That’s still below the $2.2 trillion that Democratic leaders are requesting, but sufficient enough for Pelosi to delay a Wednesday vote on the revised $2.2 trillion Heroes Act as the two parties continue negotiations.

The Republican offer would provide $400 weekly enhanced unemployment benefits, paid on top of state benefits and retroactively from the week ended Sept. 12 and continuing until the week ending Jan. 1, 2021, according to Roll Call. That would replace the $300 weekly benefits that President Donald Trump issued through a memorandum in August, which were exhausted in September.

That’s less than the $600 weekly unemployment benefit included in the Democrats’ proposed $2.2 trillion Heroes Act. However, the $400 benefit is double the $200 per week that Senate Republicans proposed back in July.

The White House stimulus offer would also provide $250 billion for state and local governments, according to Roll Call. House Democrats are requesting more than $430 billion for state and local governments.

And the latest White House offer would set aside $150 billion for education, $75 billion for coronavirus-related projects, $60 billion for mortgage and rental assistance, and $15 billion for food programs.

If a stimulus package is to materialize, both parties on Wednesday reaffirmed it would include another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for adults and $500 for dependents.

But if a stimulus compromise doesn’t come to fruition on Thursday, House Democrats are likely to vote on the $2.2 trillion Heroes Act—which is opposed by Republicans and unlikely to get signed into law.

Why pass the $2.2 trillion Heroes Act if it has no chance of becoming law? It gives Democratic representatives a talking point as they go home during the October recess to campaign. Meanwhile, vulnerable Senate Republicans will go home without having passed another stimulus bill since the spring.

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