Senate GOP Unveils Coronavirus Relief Package; Formal Negotiations Begin

Senate Republicans unveiled their plan Monday for a roughly $1 trillion coronavirus aid package that would provide a less generous extension of unemployment benefits than current law but offer another round of tax rebate checks and expanded employment tax credits. The package also includes a measure that would shield businesses that open during the pandemic from coronavirus-related medical claims through Oct. 1, 2024, if they make “reasonable efforts” to comply with public health guidelines and don’t engage in “willful misconduct or grossly negligent behavior. After days of intensive talks with the Trump administration that delayed a planned release last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell outlined legislation that will serve as the GOP’s opening bid in negotiations with Democrats. Leaders are hoping to get a final deal passed by the end of next week, before the scheduled August recess. House Democrats in May passed an aid package that would more than triple the size of the GOP’s plan — a chasm that is sure to be difficult to bridge as lawmakers try to reach a deal in coming days.

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