Fresh on the heels of the largest stimulus in history, House Democrats and government agencies are already compiling their lists with what they say they need from the next package.
On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled Democratic demands for the phase-four coronavirus stimulus - which would include additional funds for workers on the front lines fighting coronavirus, and to keep essential businesses in operation via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Democrats want to expand who's covered by OSHA protections, including grocers and TSA employees.
Pelosi's bill will also focus on infrastructure - with broadband and water resources a central focus, as well as more funds for state and local governments, paid family and medical leave, direct payments to the American public, and free treatment for coronavirus - not just free testing.
"There are infrastructure needs that our country has that directly relate to how we are proceeding with the coronavirus. Many more people are teleworking, or tele-educating or really communicating with family and friends," said Pelosi, according to te Washington Times.
In an interview Tuesday with MSNBC, Pelosi said negotiators had already agreed that “everything will be specific to the coronavirus” in the next round of legislation and that it wouldn’t become a “wish list.”
In an interview with the New York Times published on Monday, Pelosi indicated that another possible move was getting rid of the limit on state and local tax deductions, or SALT, that was part of the 2017 tax overhaul and affects California, Pelosi’s home state, and New York. -Bloomberg (via Yahoo!)
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says Pelosi's SALT plan is "a nonstarter."
"Millionaires don’t need a new tax break as the federal government spends trillions of dollars to fight a pandemic," said spokesman Michael Zona.
Pelosi claims she won't rush to push the bill through and doesn't expect the package to be ready befor Easter, according to the . Instead, it will be ready for a vote when Congress returns.
The White House, meanwhile, has compiled their own list based on what US agencies say they need totaling roughly $600 billion, according to Bloomberg.
On Monday, President Trump said that he's considering giving healthcare professionals hazard pay in a future bill, while on Sunday, he said that he's ordered the Treasury and Labor secretaries to work on restoring a tax break for spending on corporate restaurants which was repealed in his 2017 tax overhaul, according to the report - a move which Bloomberg kindly points out would benefit the Trump Organization, which rents space to restaurants.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told Bloomberg Television on Monday "if the crisis continues for substantially longer I have no doubt that the Congress will have to act again."
That said, the outlet notes that "there’s lingering friction between Trump and Pelosi over the $2 trillion stimulus, which may shadow negotiations on a fourth round."
Democrats are angry that the president issued a statement Friday saying he’d gag a new inspector general intended to watchdog the distribution of $500 billion in aid to companies. Several White House aides were unhappy that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed to the oversight in the first place, according to two people familiar with the matter.
And Trump on Monday criticized Pelosi for seeking to win some Democratic priorities in the legislation he signed Friday, such as airline pollution controls. -Bloomberg
"We want to change the voting laws, we want to change this, we want windmills all over the place to ruin everybody’s house and farm. We want to do all sorts of things," Trump told "Fox & Friends," adding "They wanted things that were so ridiculous and had nothing to do with putting people that just essentially lost their jobs putting them back to work."
In order to oversee the spending, the Department of Defense has appointed Glenn Fine - acting inspector general, to oversee a nine-member Pandemic Response Accountability Committee which was established under the most recent law.
That’s separate from the special inspector general the law creates at the Treasury Department, who will be nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Senate. That office, to sit inside of Treasury, will have an operating budget of about $25 million for five years and submit quarterly reports to Congress.
Trump said in his signing statement he wouldn’t allow the new IG to tell Congress it’s been stonewalled for information by government agencies without his permission, an effort by the White House to curb the watchdog’s powers. -Bloomberg
So - Democrats and US agencies are compiling their list of demands for the next coronavirus bailout as the economy continues to grind to a screeching halt - and the DoD is providing oversight. What could go wrong?