Stimulus LEAK (New York Times) – Stimulus Check Amounts TBA?!

The New York Times has got their hands on a document that is supposedly a summary of the draft Republican stimulus legislation as it existed late this past week.  Subject to change of course, but I will show you this document later on as well as tell you what it says about stimulus checks, unemployment, and other things we expect to see in the bill.

Before we get into the document that the New York Times got a hold of, let’s briefly talk about Mitch McConnell and the GOP senators, so yesterday I told you how G.O.P. Senators had a luncheon two days ago where the conversation was dominated not by brainstorming how we can get the next stimulus bill passed in as little time as possible or what the nation is going to do about its millions unemployed now that the FPUC has expired.

What did they talk about? They talked about alligator soup and the flora and fauna of the State of Louisiana.

Well, yesterday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he would like to negotiate the Republican stimulus package with the Democrats in the next few weeks.

He said in his home state of Kentucky on Friday: “Hopefully we can come together behind some package we can agree on in the next few weeks.”

Not days.  He did not say days.  He said weeks.

Now, I fully believe that negotiations with Democrats will start this coming week assuming that Republicans are able to release their package on Monday like Mitch said earlier this week, but the aggravating thing is simply the lack of urgency in the Senator’s language, it’s cold and seemingly unaware of the struggles of anybody who’s not a multi-millionaire politician.

That said, what’s one positive implication of Mcconnell saying that hopefully Republicans and Democrats will agree on a package in the next few weeks?

Well, the implication here is that McConnell might be willing to cancel or postpone the Senate recess that is scheduled to begin two weeks from today for the sake of stimulus, I mean he said “in the next few weeks,” he hasn’t said that he would be willing to postpone the recess, but that’s just my read on this.

Summary of Republican Bill

Moving on from Mitch to the stimulus package as a whole, it looks like the New York Times has supposedly obtained a summary of the Republican bill because the Republicans haven’t actually released a bill yet, anything is subject to change at this point.

This document that the New York Times published is the most comprehensive, detailed document summarizing the Republican legislation so far, is it accurate is a different question, and it could very well have been accurate as of this week but things could change before Monday when Republicans roll out their stimulus plan, so take this document with a grain of salt.

Here’s the link to this document if you want to check it out yourself, but just rattling off some items here, $20 billion direct payments to farmers, $25 billion for COVID-19 testing, $26 billion for vaccine research, distribution, and use, there’s that $105 billion for school reopenings and education, and then down here we see a section for stimulus payments.

The document says, “These will be included, but the amount of the payment and eligibility criteria are TBA.”

So, despite what Mnuchin said two days ago, where he said that “We’re talking about the same provision as last time, so our proposal is the exact same proposal as last time,” this document obtained by The New York Times says that stimulus payments will be included but the amount and eligibility is to be announced. Maybe Mnuchin has more up to date information on the stimulus checks than this document the time it was obtained.

So things are still up in the air and we really don’t know what the Republicans will propose until they propose.


Then moving on according to this document in the unemployment section it says, “There will be some type of extension of the enhanced benefit, but likely not $600 a week. There will be a transition period during which there will be a flat amount of extra UI per week. After that, there will be a new policy that better aligns with an individual’s lost income (possibly by multiplying a person’s state benefit) but will cap out at 100 percent of income.”

S at least according to this document, it looks like the proposal would be to have a flat payment to everybody on unemployment that would be the same for everybody, at least initially, but obviously not the full $600 a week, maybe something less than that like say $200 a week, then — and I think maybe they’re thinking about having this delay here to accommodate archaic state unemployment system technology — they’re saying that they will try to make the enhanced federally-funded unemployment more targeted on an individual-by-individual basis before they were laid off but not exceeding 100% of income. I know the Democrats going to push back on this, but we’ll see what happens.


For PPP this document says streamlined forgiveness for loans under $150,000 and an easier forgiveness process of loans between $150,000 and $1,000,000.

Also proposing a second round of PPP for businesses under 300 workers who have lost at least 50% revenue due to the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.

Health Care

For healthcare, things like no Medicare Part B increase in 2021.

Finance Tax Provisions

For tax provisions according to this document they would be looking at beefing up hiring retention tax credits, implementing business tax deductions for PPE and other COVID-19 related expenses, and increasing the meals and entertainment deduction from 50% to 100%.

Liability Protection

Then there is of course the liability protection that Mitch has talked about, and then under state and local government assistance it says — and Democrats are gonna hate this — “No additional money for state and local governments” and then right after that, this is the words of this document not mine, “certainly expect to get some added in negotiations with the Dems,” referring to the fact that Democrats will negotiate them upwards probably everything on this bill especially the state and local funding.

Then on the last page it talks about how although Republicans aren’t proposing at least initially new money for state and local governments they would propose to make it easier for them to spend the money allocated to them in the original CARES Act.


And then here at the end it says, “The TRUST Act, which creates bipartisan committees for examining the health of the Social Security, Medicare, and Highway Trust Funds is included.”

So this TRUST Act, brainchild of Mitt Romney, has been vilified in the media as something that will kill Social Security.


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