Charlotte, NC — On Monday, Senate Republicans proposed their version of the next coronavirus stimulus plan called the HEALS Act. The legislation comes in at a whopping $1 trillion and includes many of the proposals that were suspected. The extension of unemployment benefits was the one proposal that everyone was watching for.
In addition to helping the Paycheck Protection Program and another round of checks for most Americans, the legislation proposed cuts to the $600 per week unemployment benefit. The Republican proposal was to cut that amount to $200 per week, until states can get a system in place that will fund up to a maximum of 70% of your pre-COVID income.
The bill sets the stage for the battle of the H bills. The Democrats proposed their HEROES Act many weeks ago. On Monday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) referred to the HEROES Act as a socialist manifesto. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) ridiculed the Republican bill saying that it did not go far enough.
Leaders were set to begin negotiations on Monday evening, but who will win the negotiations? Generally, both parties establish a wish list of demands and start negotiating for the items that they want to include. If you base it on demands from the bills, Democrats certainly have the leverage.
It’s not expected that Democrats will argue the PPP extension. They will not argue the school funding in the bill. They are not expected to argue the payments to Americans either. They will be expected to argue the amounts of the payments as well as the amounts of the unemployment benefits.
Democrats have argued that payments to Americans should be higher and that dependent payments should be higher. It’s something that President Trump seemed to support as well during discussions. Will Republicans cave on the amounts of the aid?
Other than the dollar amounts of the aid, Republicans only included one matter Democrats will most likely refuse to agree to. This would be the liability protection for schools, healthcare workers, churches, businesses, and others who may have locations where someone could acquire coronavirus.
The question I submit is, what will the Republicans cave on? That’s what happens in negotiations, people cave. Just recently, Democrats refused to give in on the police reform negotiations. It’s highly unlikely Republicans will do the same thing here, even though McConnell called this out during his statements.
In their typical style, Republicans will cave on something, and it will cost them dearly. The Democrats will force their hands and continue to march America towards their socialist dream.
I expect that Democrats argue for the inclusion of hazard pay for healthcare workers. I suppose they will argue for some form of housing assistance and a student loan extension. All of these are items that the Republicans will not argue as strongly against, compared to things such as the local government relief.
The initial statement by McConnell is that negotiations are expected to take weeks. The media and left will not let this go by for weeks without consequences for the Republicans. I would expect we know how much and how far they cave by the middle of next week.
The winner in the negotiations will be the Democrats. It seems it is always that way. The losers will be the American people and our children, who will be saddled with another enormous legislation that adds to our national debt.
JD Washington is the Editor-in-Chief at The Liberty Loft and host of The JD Washington Show. Be sure to subscribe to The Liberty Loft’s daily newsletter. If you enjoy our content, please consider donating to support The Liberty Loft so we can continue to deliver great content.