White House relief plan includes $600 stimulus checks, says senator

A White House-backed proposal to provide more aid to the ailing US economy includes $600 in direct payments to Americans but has little support among Democrats, a prominent senator says.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday unveiled the $916 billion proposal that represents the latest attempt to break a long-running deadlock between Republicans and Democrats in Washington on a new spending package to revive the coronavirus-wracked US economy.

Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who votes with Democrats and is influential among the party’s left wing, on Wednesday rejects the stimulus check proposal as too small and calls the plan “unacceptable.”

“What the Republicans are proposing is grossly unsatisfactory,” he says in an interview with MSNBC.

In this screenshot from the DNCC’s livestream of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) addresses the virtual convention on August 17, 2020. (Handout/DNCC via Getty Images)

“That is unacceptable, and we cannot leave here unless we get $1,200 for every worker, and we get extended unemployment and we get adequate aid to states and cities. This country is facing a crisis, we have got to respond accordingly.”

Mnuchin said his plan includes “money for state and local governments and robust liability protections for businesses, schools and universities” and the Treasury Department has not provided any additional details.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer seemed little moved by the idea, indicating they wanted to focus on a $908 billion bipartisan compromise put forward last week that is making its way through the legislature.

They released a statement saying it was “unacceptable” that the White House offer only includes $40 billion for unemployment insurance.


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