Republicans Delay Release of Coronavirus Relief Plan

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, adjusts his mask after a Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 21, 2020. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Republicans pulled back from plans to release on Thursday a coronavirus relief proposal after the Trump administration requested more time to review the details.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the plan would likely be released next week.

“The administration has requested additional time to review the fine details, but we will be laying down the proposal early next week,” McConnell said, adding that the Republicans have reached an agreement “in principle.”

Republican lawmakers and the White House have strained to reach an agreement on a united Republican proposal, with some Republicans resisting spending as much as the $1 billion targeted by the Trump administration and Senate leadership.

A person familiar with the state of negotiations said the Republicans are still working out the details of the extension of enhanced unemployment benefits, which the plan calls for reducing so that they do not create disincentives to work, and the second round of $1,200 direct payments, which will reportedly be capped at a lower-income level than the $99,000 in the first found.

The White House has reportedly dropped its push for a payroll tax cut that was sure to be bitterly resisted by Democrats and did not have a lot of support among Republican. Many GOP workers thought the tax cut would push the cost of the legislation too high. At least some Republicans think the government should step back from attempting to stimulate the economy now that many states have reopened.

The Democratic House passed a whopping $3.5 trillion coronavirus response bill more than two months ago, re-upping a $600 per week federal unemployment benefit that expires July 31, another round of $1,200 payments to most people, and almost $1 trillion for states and local governments who have seen costs explode while revenues crashed due to the pandemic.

–The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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