Last Updated on March 23, 2020
As the Senate continues to debate an emergency stimulus package that would give Americans a one time payment of between $1,200 and $3000, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) told his fellow senators that the stimulus will be passed today.
After missing its self imposed weekend deadline, the Senate has been deadlocked on Monday as Democrats refuse to vote for the once-bipartisan stimulus bill that would give direct stimulus to Americans, increase unemployment benefits, fund small businesses and large businesses, and provide funding to states.
“We’re going to get this done today. Take a deep breath. EVeryone’s emotional at this moment on both sides of the aisle. But we have a job to do and we’re going to get it done. I yield the floor.”
Before making this statement, Durbin blasted Senate Republicans for partisanship regarding the spending bill, and urged them to change the legislation again.
Durbin also called for the senate to allow remote voting for senators, noting that five Republicans are already missing from the senate due to coronavirus. Four are in self quarantine, while Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has tested positive for coronavirus.
At the time of this article’s publication, Durbin spoke again, suggesting that Democrats want even more spending than the current bill offers.
Democrats are primarily opposed to funding in the bill that would allow large businesses to receive loans from the government to keep employees on payroll during the coronavirus pandemic.
National File reported:
As it stands, the current stimulus package would offer individuals a one time payment of $1,200, couples a one time payment of $2,400, and families of four a one time payment of $3,000. It is unclear if larger families would receive a larger payment, and it is also unclear how having a higher income may impact the payments.
The package would also offer $350 billion to small businesses to keep employing workers through the crisis, would increase weekly unemployment benefits by $600 for up to four months, allocate $242 billion for public health, and $150 billion to aid states dealing with coronavirus and its economic fallout.
A major point of contention is additional spending to help large corporations through the coronavirus pandemic. Initial reports suggested Democrats objected to the Republican-led $500 billion in loans to big businesses, up from the initial ask of $208 billion. Leadership is still debating a final number.
It is unclear if Durbin is correct, and the stimulus package will leave the senate today. It is also unclear if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would allow the bill to become law.