With Senate Republicans proposing a small, inadequate stimulus bill of about $1 trillion, and with House Democrats passing a more comprehensive $3 trillion bill in May, the two sides have both said they're 'miles apart.'
But that doesn't mean the latest Republican proposal brings them closer together.
Politico reports that Senate Republicans plan to introduce an even smaller or "skinny" stimulus proposal
The latest GOP coronavirus relief bill is expected to include $300 in boosted weekly federal unemployment benefits until December 27, another round of money for the Paycheck Protection Program and an additional $10 billion for the U.S. Postal Service and liability protections. The proposal is also expected to include money for education and testing. [...]
The GOP “skinny bill” is very similar to the HEALS Act, which Senate Republicans introduced in late July. McConnell has made clear that any coronavirus relief legislation will need to include liability reform. GOP aides were told that the liability protections are "substantially" similar to the HEALS Act, according to a source on the call.
Politico reports that Senate Republicans are considering attaching this to a must-pass funding bill to prevent a government shutdown on October 1st.
I casually predicted that would happen, but this is the first real indication we've had that the issue of coronavirus stimulus could provoke a government shutdown. The GOP's new "skinny" stimulus proposal moves them even further away from House Democrats and that's not a good place to start government funding talks.
Now, the part of this proposal that really sticks out to me in the worst way is the unspecified funding for education.
It's not that more funding for education would be a bad thing, but Republicans are introducing this in September and it may not become law until October if it ever does. That's anywhere from a month to two months after nearly all school systems have already made difficult choices about reopening. They've already been forced to adjust their plans on the basis that there will be no more funding.
The time to increase funding for education was over the summer, but Republicans wasted the entire summer wanking. House Democrat included $1 trillion for state and local governments and education in the stimulus bill they passed in May.
I'm beginning to think we will not see more stimulus before the November election.