“No recess without relief” is the refrain from a coalition of business groups, which this week sent a letter to congressional leaders imploring them to not leave Washington for the 2020 elections without passing additional stimulus.
More than 200 public- and private-sector groups–calling themselves the Covid Relief Now Coalition–signed the letter, urging Congress to pass additional economic relief for small businesses before the November 3 election. Otherwise, they said, millions more jobs will be lost, millions of those now unemployed will lose benefits, and hundreds of thousands of companies could close their doors forever.
“This is a pivotal moment,” the letter reads. “Congress needs to rise to the occasion and cast partisanship aside to provide a lifeline to get through this pandemic. Congress’s failure to act now will result in negative economic ramifications that will reverberate for decades.”
The letter was sent amid renewed stimulus talks between congressional Democrats and the White House, which are taking place this week. On Wednesday, House Democrats held off a vote on their $2.2 trillion stimulus proposal announced Monday. The package, which is being referred to as the updated Heroes Act, reportedly includes another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, worker health protections under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.
While the House bill in its current form stands little chance of passing, both sides are continuing to negotiate. The Trump administration previously expressed interest in a bill with a price tag of around $1.5 trillion; according to a new report, citing people briefed on the deal, Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has proposed $1.6 trillion in additional Covid-19 relief.
Time is tight for inking a package. The House is expected to adjourn soon before leaving Capitol Hill until mid-November.