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Lawmakers Now Negotiating $1 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill, Some Want More


WASHINGTON - A stunning $1 trillion is on the table at Capitol Hill as lawmakers try to iron out details for another round of coronavirus relief. 

Kids, jobs, and healthcare will be the focus of what could be the final round of COVID-19 relief packages. 

With cases of COVID-19 on the rise, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced more than $100 billion for schools in the next relief bill. 

"This majority is preparing legislation that will send $105 billion dollars so that educators will have resources they need to safely reopen," McConnell said. "That is more money than the House Democrats set aside for a similar fund." 

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Other potential elements include another round of $1,200 payments going directly to Americans, a five-year liability shield for COVID-19 related lawsuits, money for targeted virus testing/tracking, and the payroll tax cut.

"The payroll tax, in particular, goes to some of our hardest working Americans the people that benefit if you look at the tax structure - middle and low-income workers," said White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany. 

Democrats want the additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits to continue rather than expiring at the end of July. 

"We said the number one issue is we have to face the technical fix on enhanced unemployment," said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. "We are going to make sure that we don't pay people more money to stay home then go to work." 

In a letter to Senate Democrats, Minority Leader Charles Schumer wrote: "Unfortunately, by all accounts, the Senate Republicans are drafting legislation that comes up short in a number of vital areas, such as extending unemployment benefits or funding for rental assistance, hazard premium pay for frontline workers, or investments in communities of color being ravaged by the virus, and many other necessary provisions."

"This is going to be a major point of contention in the next couple of weeks as Donald Trump starts negotiating with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi on this Phase 4 deal," said Economist Stephen Moore. 

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