Coronavirus Relief Funds in Jeopardy
Continued stimulus talks: A bipartisan group of lawmakers reached a compromise on a $908 billion plan for COVID-19 relief, far less than the $2.2 trillion updated HEROES Act passed by the House in October. The bipartisan plan would provide a $300 a week federal supplement to jobless benefits to last four months, $160 billion for state and local governments, and a temporary liability shield from COVID-19 related lawsuits for companies. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) instead plans to push a smaller, partisan package that extends expiring unemployment benefits through the end of January and includes liability reform, but does not include state and local aid.
Mnuchin claws back relief funds: With coronavirus relief negotiations still deadlocked in Congress, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced plans to move $455 billion earmarked for COVID-19 relief from the Federal Reserve back into the Treasury’s General Fund. Moving the funds, part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act signed into law in March, would make access to them more difficult for President-elect Biden.