Republican leaders tout relief bill that includes $105 billion in educational aid

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – Senate republicans are proposing $105 billion in aid to schools across the country.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) outlined what the GOP-majority will include in the next coronavirus relief bill and he said making schools safe for children and staff is a top priority.

Another round of direct payments to families and another PPP round of loans to businesses will also be in the next Republican bill.

Democrats say any bill must have aid to state and local governments, a massive expansion of testing and tracing, and an extension of federal unemployment and rental assistance.

McConnell said, “This majority is preparing legislation that will send $105 billion so that educators have the resources they need to safely reopen. That is more money than the House Democrats set aside for a similar fund, by the way. And that’s in addition to support for child care needs.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the Republican plan isn’t enough. “The Republican proposal appears destined to fall drastically short of what’s required,” he said. “From all indications, the bill will prioritize corporate special interests over workers and main street businesses. It won’t provide hazardous pay for essential workers. It won’t provide new funding to state, local and tribal governments or enough investments in communities of color that have been ravaged by the virus. Enhanced unemployment benefits will expire at the end of the month. According to reports the Republican bill will not do nearly enough to aid the 20 to 30 million Americans currently unemployed.”

Schumer also said Americans need the eviction moratorium extended. “According to reports,” he said, “the Republican bill won’t do anything for the millions of Americans who can’t afford the rent and could get kicked out of their apartments.”

That $600 a week federal unemployment check program expires at the end of July and it’s not likely Congress will pass an extension or another relief bill that quickly.

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