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White House, GOP Deal on $1T COVID-19 Relief Package Takes Shape

July 24, 2020

As reported by The Hill, “White House and Senate Republicans on Thursday reached a “fundamental agreement” on a coronavirus package…”

Among other items, the agreement includes:

  • Another round of $1200 in direct payments to individuals making up to $75,000
  • Replacing the current $600 in federal unemployment benefits with a 70% match of a worker’s wages before they lost their job
  • $16 billion for testing
  • $105 billion for schools
  • Extension of the PPP program
  • Five-year liability shield from coronavirus lawsuits except in the case of gross negligence or intentional misconduct
  • Support for businesses to pay for PPE 

The agreement, when finalized, will be a starting point for negotiations with Democrats. House Democrats have already laid down a marker with passage of the $3 trillion HEROES Act, which included a broad range of COVID relief and non-COVID related provisions.

Timing for passage of legislation is uncertain. There is pressure to act before the August recess. However, if that deadline slips, there is talk of moving sooner on unemployment benefits, which expire at the end of July, and school funding, until a larger measure can be considered.