The efforts to pass a new stimulus bill are still ongoing, with lawmakers possibly deciding soon on a $908 billion bill, but a sticking point has arisen in the lack of new individual checks, CNBC reported.
The $1,200 checks sent out to adults early in the pandemic were a cornerstone of the CARES Act passed in March, but lawmakers have varied in trying to assess if they want to allow for that kind of aid again.
Excluding the personal checks could be a mistake, according to Ioana Marinescu, assistant professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, CNBC reported. Marinescu said the stimulus checks “would ensure that nobody who needs help would fall through the cracks while at the same time providing stimulus for businesses who would get more customers.”
In addition, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Josh Hawley have announced a resolution to amend the coming legislation with language ensuring personal checks of $1,200 sent to individuals, CNBC reported.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is detailing a new split-up $908 billion stimulus plan, which would have one proposal with $748 billion for broadly-agreed-upon items, and $160 billion in a separate plan for both state aid and liability protections.
According to a Bloomberg report, the first package for $748 billion would include $300 billion for small businesses, including help through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $180 billion for unemployment insurance, $45 billion for transportation assistance, $82 billion for education and $16 billion for vaccine assistance, among other things.
The latter proposal consists of the more hotly contested items, with Democrats having lobbied for state aid and Republicans pushing for liability protections for businesses against pandemic-related lawsuits. These are some of the main issues that have held up the stimulus effort for several months now.