Republican senators are piecing together an additional coronavirus aid package to counter House Democrats’ phase-4 aid proposal.
The GOP bill in its current form will provide an additional $1.3 trillion in economic aid to U.S. taxpayers and businesses, CNN reported on Wednesday evening. House Democrats have already proposed their own $3 trillion aid package, however Senate Republicans have pushed back on the high price tag.
“It won’t be $3 trillion. That bill is not going anywhere,” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said on Wednesday. The GOP proposal will likely include aid to schools, hospitals, and businesses, along with liability protections for companies.
The Republican caucus has urged caution when passing additional aid packages, preferring to study the effects of previous legislation to make sure the aid is effective in keeping the U.S. economy afloat. McConnell said that talks with Democrats on a new round of aid would be more difficult “because of the proximity to the election.”
“It is unclear to me right now how we will resolve several contentious issues,” Senator Chris Coons (D., Conn.) told CNN, echoing McConnell. “It’s going to be a rough road. There are a lot of competing interests. A lot.”
House Democrats may also piece together an infrastructure spending bill to offset some of the economic effects of the pandemic. The idea for an infrastructure bill has received support from Republicans including President Trump, as well as Senators Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), Roy Blunt (R., Mo.), and Roger Wicker (R., Miss.).