After days of intense debate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republican leaders rolled out a roughly $1 trillion proposal for the next round of coronavirus relief funding, which has the White House's seal of approval.
Why it matters: The HEALS Act (health, economic assistance, liability protection, schools) is viewed as a GOP marker for broader negotiations, since both Democrats and some Republicans have expressed dissatisfaction with key aspects of the bill. It's expected to change significantly in the coming days.
- Washington leaders are hopeful they can pass a final bill by mid-August, though that timetable will be extremely difficult given the stark differences in opinion on the substance of the legislation.
- The price tag is also expected to increase given that Democrats want a $4 trillion package, despite sharp opposition from deficit hawks like Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). GOP leaders have begrudgingly admitted they'll need to meet Democrats somewhere in the middle.
What they're saying: "It will take bipartisan cooperation to put the HEALS Act into law for the American people. The Senate will not waste time with pointless partisanship," McConnell said on the Senate floor.
- "There's a a reason why even Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer themselves have publicly downplayed the multi-trillion dollar socialist manifesto they published some weeks back, and have suggested the real serious discussion would begin when Republicans released our outline."
- "We have produced a tailored and targeted draft that will cut right to the heart of three distinct crises facing our country. Getting kids back in school, getting workers back to work, and winning the health care fight against the virus. Kids, jobs, and health care."
Check out the full article including key provisions in the Republican proposal, which was released in pieces Monday night here.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore