Mitch McConnell and senate Republicans will reportedly reveal at least part of their next economic coronavirus relief package on Thursday. Jordain Carney of The Hill reported that this time around, it won’t be a single bill but rather a series of bills. While the plan is to split the package up, all of the legislation will be rolled out on the same day.
Sen. Roy Blunt said it was McConnell’s idea to have a number of smaller bills rather than one big one. He added that there is a chance some of the pieces of legislation could be split to the point where they won’t come up until later this week or early next week. Still, he said the plan is to have everything on the floor on Thursday.
For this coronavirus relief package, conversations have largely been among conservatives in the senate and the White House. Democrats have been talking about their own ideas, and the two sides haven’t had any talks about pairing the ideas up into one comprehensive bill.
“So far we’ve had a rational discussion. Nobody’s stabbed anybody or anything,” said Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana.
While reports haven’t divulged everything to be unveiled, some legislators were willing to admit a big part of this coronavirus relief package will involve funds for schools and testing for the virus. A deal on at least part of the legislation was reportedly reached on Wednesday night. It is said to involve billions in new money for testing, as well as refocusing some money which hadn’t been spent from the last round of relief.
For education purposes, it’s reported there is more than $105 billion carved out. That includes $70 billion for K-12 and $30 billion for colleges. Only half of the K-12 funding will be tied to schools holding in-person or hybrid classes, while the money for colleges would not be tied to in-person classes.
Carney wrote that not tying the funds to students being physically in classrooms appears to be in conflict with what President Donald Trump wanted.
Trump and his administration said earlier this month they might financially punish any school districts that didn’t fully open this fall.
Earlier this week, McConnell told reporters they would be releasing the newest COVID-19 relief package “in a few days.” A Thursday reveal would be within that timeline.
In addition to education, the bills are reported to have funds for paycheck protection, though Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said they hadn’t settled on just how much would go directly to American workers. Carney said the biggest unsettled issue is just how much unemployment assistance the next round coronavirus relief package will include.