The Senate Republicans yesterday officially unveiled the details of their proposal for the latest round of COVID-19 stimulus tax dollars.   Their package would require our government borrowing another $1trillion dollars on top of the $3 trillion-plus they borrowed last time.

Senate Majority leader McConnell said the three-part GOP plan is “tailored and targeted” to:

  1. help students get back to school
  2. help workers get back to work
  3. and to defeat the virus with expanded testing and treatments

This plan starts the negotiation between the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democrat-controlled House.  The Democrats want to borrow another $3 trillion dollars from our future generation for this round.

How much might you receive this time around?

The Republican proposal, which is backed by the White House, would provide another round of direct payments of $1,200 to Americans making $75,000 or less a year.  What is not clear in any reporting is if a couple making less than $150,000 a year would entitle each spouse to receive a $1,200 check or they would go by individual earnings.  This plan would also provide a $500 payment for each dependent.

The plan would also provide another $100 billion for schools to reopen safely.  The question is would then receive any taxpayer funds if they do not reopen.

The Democrats plan includes giving qualifying adults $1,200 each, plus $1,200 per child up to three children. They also want to spend an additional $430 billion on schools, including $50 billion for child care.  The Democrats do not inform us why they want to spend so much more on schools and what the child care funds are for if schools were to receive the $430 billion and reopen.

When it comes to the increased unemployment payments, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley said unemployment benefits in the Republican package would be reduced from $600 a week to $200 through September. Then in October, the payment would be replaced with a benefit of up to $500 that, when combined with the state unemployment insurance, would replace 70% of lost wages.  Today the most you can receive in weekly Michigan unemployment benefits is $360 a week.  When combined with the current Federal government bump that comes to a total of $960 per week.

Democrats want to keep the Federal extra unemployment payment of $600 at least through the end of January 2021.

One of the biggest problems employers face today when their Governors allow them to open is hiring their employees back.  With the additional $600 Federal unemployment cash a week approximately 50% of unemployed people are making more not working than they would be working.  Employers inform us that their former employees in that situation are refusing to come back to work.  This is causing our economy to not do as well as it could be performing which in the end helps all of us.

We will see what ends up in the final package when the negotiations between the Republicans and Democrats come to some kind of agreement.