As tensions continue to mount in the Senate, senators on both sides of the aisle hope to reach a consensus as soon as possible. While Republican senators had hoped to push a bill through by today, Democratic senators have continued to argue that the Republican version of the bill focuses too heavily on providing assistance to big business while leaving the most vulnerable individuals across America with little to no assistance. With this in mind, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, alongside House Democrats, hopes to introduce a stimulus plan of their own — one that would ostensibly focus on health, wages, and the well-being of America’s workers. But while this discourse rages on in congress, there are still many Americans left wondering when (or if) government assistance will reach them at all.
According to a statement from House Speaker Pelosi, per CNBC, this version of the stimulus plan would, first and foremost, require that corporations that receive bailout money act to shield workers’ wages and benefits. The planned legislation would also purportedly limit stock buyback options, as well as the compensation that CEOs would expect to receive. Beyond the limitations placed on large corporations, House Democrats claim that their plan will also include direct payments to Americans, expanded paid family and medical leave, support for small businesses in the form of loans and grants, strengthened unemployed insurance, and additional support for hospitals and healthcare workers.
While House Democrats signal that they are focused on crafting their version of legislation aimed at protecting the most vulnerable Americans during this time of national crisis, Senate Republicans, along with the rest of the country, are desperate to get a plan into action as soon as possible. With the vote for the previous Republican stimulus plan essentially halted with a final tally of 47-47, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had some words to share regarding the matter.
“We had a high level of bipartisanship in five different working groups over the last 48 hours, where members who were participating were reaching agreement. Then all of a sudden the Democratic Leader and the Speaker of the House shows up and we’re back to square one,” he said, per CSPAN coverage available on Twitter.
Many Americans will be forced to make some very tough decisions in the immediate future if Congress cannot come together to present viable legislation. Though both Democratic and Republican legislators appear to be having some difficulty forging a truly bipartisan bill, hope remains that the nation’s elected officials will eventually come to an agreement.