Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats Propose $750 Billion Coronavirus Plan

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer holds his weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol, December 17, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Senate Democrats on Monday proposed a $750 billion aid package to combat the spread of the coronavirus, which over the past several days has hurtled affected areas in the U.S. into a near shutdown.

The plan, proposed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, would boost hospital capacity, expand unemployment insurance, increase Medicaid funding, provide aid to small businesses, and grant immediate forbearance on federal loan payments.

“We will need big, bold, urgent federal action to deal with this crisis,” Schumer said in a statement.

The new aid proposal comes after Congress passed an $8.3 billion plan to handle the outbreak. Over the weekend, the House passed another multibillion-dollar stimulus package that would provide paid sick leave for employees, free coronavirus testing, and emergency food assistance for families.

Schumer’s request also comes as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest business organization in the country, wrote to President Trump and lawmakers asking them to help buoy companies to avoid a “potentially devastating” economic consequences.

The Chamber requested companies be granted three-months’ relief from taxes to Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance as well as boosting loan support for companies.

“No family and no business should go bankrupt just because of the temporary disruption in income caused by the coronavirus,” wrote CEO Thomas J. Donohue in the Chamber’s letter.

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