Loading...

Stabenow Says Smaller Coronavirus Relief Bill Better Than Nothing

November 25, 2020 by Stabenow Says Smaller Coronavirus Relief Bill Better Than Nothing November 25, 2020by Doug Sword, CQ-Roll Call (TNS)

WASHINGTON — A top Senate Democrat said Tuesday that she’s engaged in bipartisan discussions on COVID-19 aid and urged quick action even if that means “a short-term package for the next few months.”

“We need to act,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D- Mich., the fourth-ranking Democrat in that chamber as Democratic Policy and Communications Committee chairwoman. “We have good discussions going on, bipartisan discussions in the Senate right now.”

House Democrats and Senate Republicans have been in a standoff for months. House Democrats passed Oct. 1 a slimmed down version of their relief package, though it still weighed in at $2.4 trillion.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been discussing a package worth nearly $2 trillion, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the estimated $519 billion aid package Republicans introduced in September is sufficient.

On Friday, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D- N.Y., met with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to discuss legislative priorities.

In a post-meeting readout, the quartet didn’t put a number on how big a lame-duck aid package should be. But they said it had to contain “resources to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, relief for working families and small businesses, support for state and local governments trying to keep frontline workers on the payroll, expanded Unemployment Insurance, and affordable health care for millions of families.”

Stabenow’s comments to CNBC Tuesday were similar to those made Nov. 17 by Sen. Rob Portman, R- Ohio. Portman said at that time he was starting bipartisan talks on “a targeted, effective program that deals with what we have to deal with now, to get through this valley, really, between now and March.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if Portman was part of the group Stabenow was talking with, though both are members of the Finance Committee with jurisdiction over tax, health care and unemployment insurance programs.

“To me, this is about making sure there are no winners and losers that whatever we do is comprehensive,” Stabenow said. “And it’s less about the overall number because even if there is a short-term package for the next few months, until we get into the new Biden administration, we have to act now.”

By comprehensive, Stabenow said she means relief not just for airline workers and Paycheck Protection Program recipients, but for the self-employed and those out of work because of stay-at-home orders.

“I’m not even gonna put a number because to me it’s about a few months, maybe it’s through the first quarter,” she said.

Stabenow’s remarks also come as pressure rises among House Democrats to reach a deal.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D- Md., said Friday that he hoped to reach an agreement even if wasn’t the much larger package that Democratic leaders have been aiming for.

“I just hope that we can get agreement. It may not be everything that everybody wants but at least if we can get some significant relief to people,” Hoyer told CQ Roll Call. “And then we’re going to be here next year. If we need to do other things, we’ll do other things.”

Hoyer’s comments came after Rep. Dwight Evans, D- Pa., sent a letter to House Democratic leaders urging a “targeted” relief bill to help, among others, the as many as 400,000 Pennsylvanians who face possible eviction.

Stabenow also pushed back against the idea that Democrats would wait until the pandemic was over to act on Biden’s proposal to boost the corporate income tax rate. Corporations had been taxed at 35% until the 2017 tax code overhaul lowered the rate to 21 percent; Biden would raise that to 28%.

“We’ve got to right size the tax code right now to make sure it’s fair for everybody,” Stabenow said. “And during the middle of a pandemic, we’ve got to make sure that every size business is contributing to the recovery, to our safety, to our national security.”

___

(c)2020 CQ-Roll Call, Inc., All Rights Reserved

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

In The News

Health

Voting

Economy

January 30, 2023
by Dan McCue
‘Building Resilient Communities’ Gives Local Concerns a Voice in DC

WASHINGTON — What consumes those inside the beltway and in mainstream media doesn’t always reflect the realities of mainstream Americans... Read More

WASHINGTON — What consumes those inside the beltway and in mainstream media doesn’t always reflect the realities of mainstream Americans or the communities in which they live. That was the consistent theme that emerged from last week’s “Building Resilient Communities” forum. Hosted by The Well News... Read More

January 28, 2023
by Dan McCue
The Rise of Contractors Screams Out for a Rethinking of Policy

WASHINGTON — Hard as it may be to believe, a revolution really did take place while we were all inside,... Read More

WASHINGTON — Hard as it may be to believe, a revolution really did take place while we were all inside, hoping the dark, early shadow of COVID-19 would somehow pass us by.  According to Liz Wilke, principal economist with Gusto, a payroll, benefits and HR platform... Read More

January 27, 2023
by Dan McCue
‘Resilient Communities’ Breakfast Jumpstarts Conversation on the Modern Economy

WASHINGTON — Connie E. Evans, president and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, smiled broadly Thursday as she surveyed... Read More

WASHINGTON — Connie E. Evans, president and CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, smiled broadly Thursday as she surveyed the early morning crowd gathered to hear her and other speakers at Charlie Palmer Steak. “It’s seldom, at least in my experience, that you get a... Read More

As US Nears Debt Limit, Political Frictions Raising Alarms

WASHINGTON (AP) — The countdown toward a possible U.S. government default is in the offing — with frictions between President Joe Biden... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The countdown toward a possible U.S. government default is in the offing — with frictions between President Joe Biden and House Republicans raising alarms about whether the U.S. can sidestep a potential economic crisis. The Treasury Department projects that the federal government will on Thursday reach its... Read More

Elon Musk Depicted as Liar, Visionary in Tesla Tweet Trial

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk was depicted Wednesday as either a liar who callously jeopardized the savings of “regular... Read More

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk was depicted Wednesday as either a liar who callously jeopardized the savings of “regular people" or a well-intentioned visionary as attorneys delivered opening statements at a trial focused on a Tesla buyout that never happened. Lawyers on opposing sides drew... Read More

Job Cuts in Tech Sector Spread, Microsoft Lays Off 10,000

Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, joining other tech companies that have scaled back their pandemic-era... Read More

Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, joining other tech companies that have scaled back their pandemic-era expansions. The company said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that the layoffs were a response to “macroeconomic conditions and changing customer priorities.” The company said it... Read More

News From The Well