Mitch Ado about Nothing

Update 459 — Mitch Ado about Nothing:
GOP COVID Bill “Semi-Irrelevant” — Trump

If, as polls suggest possible, Republicans are driven from office in November, having lost the White House and their Hill majorities, it won’t just be the price of fealty to Trump. It’s also the deaf ear to the dire needs of nearly 32 million Americans who are currently unemployed and almost everyone else affected by COVID. An ideological paralysis could snuff out a recovery and a Party.

Mitch McConnell’s Senate GOP conference is split — half ideologues opposing any more COVID spending, half amenable to more. Everyone in the administration, every Fed Governor, maybe every economics Ph. D all urge Congress to stimulate our stalled economy through rapid and substantial fiscal policy. Trump and most observers are no doubt disappointed with the Senate GOP’s paltry opening bid, $1 trillion, a sum inadequate to the task.

Today we examine what provisions will likely make their way into a final package, the sticking points for sides, and what will be left on the cutting room floor.

Best, 

Dana 

_______

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finally unveiled the next GOP relief package on Monday, days before expanded unemployment benefits expire for millions of Americans. The Republicans’ Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act bears little in common with the House-passed HEROES Act, itself two months old. 

Bipartisan Appeal in HEALS

The $1 trillion Republican HEALS Act omits key provisions of the $3 trillion Democratic HEROES Act. There is some bipartisan consensus emerging on several of these bills’ provisions, suggesting their inclusion in a final package.

  • Cash Payments Round Two: White House and Congressional leaders on both sides have been supportive of a second round of direct cash payments. HEALS payments would be nearly identical to those in the CARES Act. Americans earning up to $75,000 would receive $1,200; payments then phase out for those earning up to $99,000. 

    A key change in HEALS would expand the $500 check per dependent to include adult dependents. HEALS payments would total $300 billion. Comparatively, the HEROES Act’s payments would include ITIN filers and give families $1,200 for up to three dependents, pumping $413 billion into the economy. A final deal may hue closer to the HEALS proposal. 
  • PPP Expansion: HEALS would allocate $190 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses to take out original and “second draw” loans and extend the program to Dec. 31. The PPP deadline is currently Aug. 8. These second draw loans would be limited to businesses with fewer than 300 employees that have suffered a revenue decline of at least 50 percent. Industry groups are bristling at the revenue loss threshold. The GOP also proposes new “Long-term Recovery Sector Loans.” This program would authorize $100 billion to the SBA to issue loans up to $10 million with a 20-year maturity and a 1 percent fixed interest rate. Target recipients would be seasonal businesses and businesses in low-income areas.

    Democrats offered their own expansions of the PPP in HEROES including extending the program to Dec. 31 and expanding the loan coverage period from eight to twenty-four weeks. House Democrats have also been fighting for more set-asides for minority-owned businesses, which Secretary Mnuchin supports. At a minimum, there will likely be a PPP extension and more lending for lower-income communities.
  • Employer Tax Relief: The CARES Act created the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), which provides a 50 percent refundable tax credit for an employee’s wages up to $10,000. HEALS expands the ERTC by raising the reimbursement threshold to 65 percent and the qualified wages per employee to $30,000. This is compared to an 80 percent reimbursement rate for up to $45,000 in wages in HEROES. We should expect some expansion of the ERTC.
  • School Funding with a Catch: HEALS would appropriate $105 billion for education, with roughly $47 billion restricted for K-12 schools that reopen, including private schools. HEROES included $100 billion for education funding, with $58 billion going to public K-12 schools and no re-opening requirements. With nearly identical top-line numbers, the debate will come down to reopening requirements. 

Negotiation Battlegrounds

As negotiations advance, key battles lie ahead: 

  • Unemployment Insurance: While Democrats fiercely advocated maintaining the $600 benefit, HEALS reduces the benefit from $600 to $200 through September. Beginning in October, the GOP bill would modify the structure for benefits to match 70 percent of a worker’s prior income. 

    The Republican proposal will have devastating effects on the 32 million Americans now dependent upon unemployment insurance. Per the Century Foundation, the HEALS Act would strip $10 billion in unemployment benefits per week. It will also be difficult to implement at the state level, further delaying unemployment payments as states struggle to reprogram their UI systems. 
  • Liability Immunity: A major flashpoint in negotiations will be the GOP’s five-year liability shield for schools, hospitals, and businesses in the HEALS Act. Spearheaded by Sen. Cornyn, the bill shields employers who comply with the weakest standard, protecting them from even civil rights, gender discrimination, and disability claims under the ADA. Providing these legal protections to employers deprives workers of them. McConnell insists that his caucus will not support a bill without liability protections. 
  • State and Local Funding: Despite bipartisan pleas from governors and mayors for additional federal funds, the HEALS Act fails to provide states and localities additional financial support. Impending budget shortfalls would significantly prolong the recession.

    Instead, the plan offers states some “flexibility” in the use of CARES Act aid to offset major revenue losses. Democrats, on the other hand, have proposed around $1 trillion in federal aid to states and municipalities. Without federal support, states will have to undertake serious austerity measures, including further layoffs.

HEROES not in HEALS

The items left out of the HEALS Act are as notable as those included. Many priorities outlined by House Democrats in the HEROES Act went unanswered, including:

  • Election Funding: The HEROES Act provides $3.6 billion in additional election assistance to facilitate mail-in voting and ensure election security. Many states have already used the election assistance funds provided in the CARES Act to finance primaries and are in desperate need of more. Despite these concerns, the Republican bill does not provide any new money. 
  • Hazard Pay: In HEROES, Democrats advanced a proposal to create a $190 billion ‘Heroes Fund’ which increases essential workers’ pay by $13/hour. The increased pay would be capped at $10,000 per worker and retroactive to Jan. 27. The HEALS Act does not address hazard pay.
  • Eviction Moratorium: Last week, the CARES Act’s eviction moratorium expired, leaving millions of tenants at risk of eviction. While the HEALS Act makes no mention of the eviction moratorium, the HEROES Act extends it, in addition to providing a 60-day mortgage forbearance.

The GOP Christmas Tree

While President Trump’s payroll tax cut didn’t make it, a bizarre tax deduction for business meals did. HEALS would allow businesses to deduct 100 percent of business meal expenses for the rest of the year as an excuse to help the restaurant industry. This provision is strongly opposed by Leader Schumer and hunger advocates who point to the callousness of Republicans deducting business meals but not expanding SNAP benefits.

Banking deregulation is also on the docket with reports that Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo wants to extend lower capital requirements for community banks. Although not part of the package yet, the provision would allow community banks to lower their capital leverage ratio from nine to eight percent through 2021. Weakening of capital requirements should not be extended to larger banks. Capital requirements have helped the banking sector weather the crisis so far, this is no time to loosen them as the economy remains fragile.

Next Time…

With the next House and Senate COVID relief bills so far dissimilar in size and substance, negotiations could keep Congress in session into the August recess. The Republicans’ refusal to legislate until expiration dates are nigh will — in the meantime — strip relief from tens of millions of Americans. This will crush families’ budgets and unnecessarily harm the sputtering economy. On Friday, we will take a deeper look into what’s needed in the next package to bridge our economy through this crisis among the provisions on the table. 

64 thoughts on “Mitch Ado about Nothing”

  1. I’m not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading incredibly slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

    0mniartist asmr

  2. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post plus the rest
    of the website is also really good. asmr 0mniartist

  3. I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of space .
    Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this website.
    Reading this info So i am glad to convey that I have a very good uncanny feeling I
    came upon exactly what I needed. I most for sure will make certain to do not
    overlook this site and provides it a look regularly. asmr
    0mniartist

  4. I’m curious to find out what blog system you’re utilizing?
    I’m experiencing some minor security problems with my latest blog and I would like to
    find something more risk-free. Do you have any suggestions?

    Also visit my web site … joker388

  5. Hi would you mind letting me know which web host
    you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker
    then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a fair price?
    Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

    Also visit my webpage; aaa1188

  6. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post.
    Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

    Look at my webpage; jackpot 918kiss 2 (918kiss-m.com)

  7. hey there and thank you for your info – I’ve certainly picked up something new from right
    here. I did however expertise a few technical issues using this web site, since
    I experienced to reload the website a lot of times previous to
    I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your
    hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading
    instances times will often affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if ads and
    marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of your respective
    fascinating content. Ensure that you update this again soon..

    Also visit my web site :: turbomaxturbos.com

  8. What i don’t understood is in reality how you are now not
    actually a lot more neatly-preferred than you may be right now.

    You’re very intelligent. You realize therefore
    significantly when it comes to this subject, made me in my opinion imagine it from a lot of varied angles.
    Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested except it’s
    one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs great.
    All the time handle it up!

  9. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much.
    I hope to give something back and help others like
    you helped me.

  10. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will
    come back down the road. I want to encourage you to continue your great work, have a nice morning!

  11. Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve consider your stuff prior to and you’re simply extremely excellent.
    I actually like what you have received here, really like what
    you’re stating and the way during which you are saying it.
    You’re making it entertaining and you continue to take care
    of to stay it sensible. I can not wait to learn far more from you.
    This is really a wonderful site.

  12. Excellent way of describing, and good article to take facts regarding my presentation focus,
    which i am going to convey in institution of higher education.

  13. I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog.

    Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality
    writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one these days.

  14. I have learn several just right stuff here.
    Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting.

    I wonder how much attempt you put to create this sort of magnificent informative
    site.

  15. Your style is so unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from.
    Thank you for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark
    this web site.

  16. Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most
    blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic
    but I had to ask!

    Feel free to surf to my web site :: https://kebe.top/viewtopic.php?id=1305757

  17. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find
    this topic to be actually something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get
    the hang of it!

  18. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d
    definitely donate to this fantastic blog! I guess for
    now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to
    my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook
    group. Chat soon!

    Also visit my site … http://www.ptfang.com

  19. scoliosis
    When someone writes an article he/she retains the image of a user in his/her mind
    that how a user can know it. So that’s why this article is amazing.

    Thanks! scoliosis

  20. scoliosis
    Right here is the perfect site for anybody who wishes to find out about this topic.

    You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not
    that I personally would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject
    that has been discussed for years. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!
    scoliosis

  21. I was very happy to uncover this page. I
    need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!!
    I definitely enjoyed every part of it and i also
    have you saved as a favorite to see new things on your web
    site.

    Also visit my web blog kebe.top

  22. scoliosis
    hello!,I like your writing so much! percentage we keep up a correspondence extra
    approximately your article on AOL? I need an expert on this house to unravel my
    problem. Maybe that’s you! Having a look forward to look you.

    scoliosis

  23. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have consider your stuff prior
    to and you are just too magnificent. I actually
    like what you have received here, certainly like what you are saying and the best way by
    which you say it. You are making it entertaining and you still take care of to
    stay it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you.
    This is really a wonderful web site.

    Also visit my web page http://www.atomy123.com

  24. I have recently started a website, the information you offer on this site has helped me greatly.
    Thanks for all of your time & work.

    my blog post: Lila

  25. I think this is one of the most significant information for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark
    on few general things, The site style is wonderful, the articles is really excellent :
    D. Good job, cheers

  26. Greetings I am so excited I found your weblog, I really found you by error,
    while I was researching on Yahoo for something else, Anyhow
    I am here now and would just like to say thanks for
    a incredible post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to
    read it all at the moment but I have saved it and
    also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more,
    Please do keep up the awesome job.

  27. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading
    it, you’re a great author. I will make sure to
    bookmark your blog and may come back at some point.
    I want to encourage continue your great job,
    have a nice afternoon!

  28. Pingback: international free dating sites online

  29. I do agree with all of the ideas you have offered to your post.
    They are really convincing and will definitely work.
    Still, the posts are very short for newbies. May just you
    please lengthen them a little from subsequent time?
    Thank you for the post.

  30. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  31. Wonderful blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a
    little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress
    or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused ..
    Any recommendations? Many thanks!

    Feel free to surf to my web site – http://www.mhes.tyc.edu.tw

  32. Greetings! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you
    using for this website? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress
    because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at
    alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

    my web page :: http://www.craksracing.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *