U.S. Senate Delays Second Stimulus Package as Alabama COVID Cases Hit Record High
Updated: Jul 24, 2020
(Washington, DC) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed the unveiling of the
CARES Act II stimulus package this morning after differences between President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans emerged over the extension of unemployment benefits and other components. Politico reported the President is demanding a payroll tax cut while other Senate Republicans dislike the price tag of the bill. The news comes as the extra $600 unemployment stipend provided by the federal government under the first CARES Act expires next week.
CNBC reported the $600 figure may be reduced to $200 or $300 in extra benefits upon passage of the new legislation. Hourly workers and those making less than $40,000 have been disproportionally hit by the economic impacts of the coronavirus. An additional 1.4 million new unemployment claims were filed in the past week.
Democrats in the House, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, passed a $3 trillion package in May that the Senate refused to bring up for a vote. Emerging details on the Senate’s bill includes billions for school re-openings, additional testing and the potential for another round of stimulus checks.
Final passage of any additional stimulus bill is not expected until August at the earliest.
Whatever the Senate passes would have to be passed by the House. Any changes in the House would require passage again in the Senate or a conference committee between both chambers to iron out their differences. Most Democrats believe the Senate bill to simply be the start of negotiations.
The delay comes as Alabama reported a record high of 2,283 new cases of coronavirus today and 32 more deaths. Mobile County reported the highest number of new cases at 354. The University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital is treating a record high 105 coronavirus patients, as hospitals across the state are experiencing a surge in new patients.