There is little overlap in the plans released by Democrats and Republicans for another round of federal aid to address the Covid-19 pandemic. The House Democrats’ opening offer, a $3.4 trillion package that passed the chamber in May, would extend $600 weekly unemployment payments and provide $1 trillion more in state and local aid.
The Senate Republican plan, a $1.1 trillion package announced Monday, includes scaled-back unemployment benefits and more funding for small-business loans.
The Republican bill has not yet received an official cost projection, but the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has analyzed both measures. Here, based on that data, is how the two parties’ proposals compare with each other and with the more than $3 trillion in federal support passed by Congress since March:
Congress is facing increasing pressure to come to an agreement because weekly unemployment benefit payments of $600 expire for millions of Americans this week. Republicans have proposed reducing the additional benefit, which is added to regular state payments, to $200 per week through September, with a plan to set total benefits at 70 percent of lost income after that. Democrats want to continue the higher payments through January.
Both parties include a second round of stimulus checks for individuals. The Democratic plan is more costly, increasing the amount allotted for dependents to $1,200 from $500 and loosening rules to allow undocumented immigrants to receive money.
Republicans have proposed more funding for Paycheck Protection loans, in addition to two other lending programs for small businesses. Democrats have not proposed additional loans.
Democrats have proposed nearly $1 trillion in additional aid to state and local governments to help make up for reduced revenue and increased spending during the pandemic. Both parties propose granting additional funds to states for education, but the Republican plan favors schools that hold in-person classes.
Democrats included hundreds of billions of dollars in spending on priorities like safety-net programs, and are calling for the temporary elimination of the cap on the state and local tax deduction that primarily affects blue states.
Both parties have included additional health care spending in their plans. Democrats propose more spending over all, including nearly $100 billion to subsidize continuing health insurance coverage for laid-off workers under COBRA, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.
Both parties have proposed expanding a payroll tax credit passed in March, with slightly different parameters.
Both plans contain a handful of other line items. Some Republican senators were surprised to learn that their plan included $1.75 billion for a new F.B.I. headquarters — a White House demand without a connection to the pandemic.
Note: Some provisions with limited associated costs, like the Republicans’ liability protection measure and their plan to address shortfalls in federal trust funds, are not shown. About $800 billion of the aid that has already passed, primarily in the form of loans, is not expected to add to the deficit. While most costs are expected to occur this year and next, all estimates are over a 10-year period.
News – The Gulf Between Republicans and Democrats on Coronavirus Aid, in 9 Charts