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U.S. House passes $2.2 trillion Covid stimulus bill; Senate unlikely to follow suit

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a $2.2 trillion Covid-19 stimulus proposal by a largely partisan 214-207 tally. Eighteen Democrats – none of them representing Connecticut — joined all of the chamber’s Republicans in voting against the bill.

The legislation would also include new $1,200 checks to most Americans and re-establish $600-a-week unemployment benefits, and about $436 billion to state and local governments over a one-year period.

It would also provide $993 million for hospitals; $225 billion for education funding plus $50 billion for a “Child Care Stabilization Fund” that would allow states to give grants to child care providers; $125 billion to the restaurant industry; $75 billion for COVID-19 testing and tracing; $25 billion to airlines; and $15 billion to the U.S. Post Office.

The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate is not expected to consider the bill before Election Day, if at all. Various GOP members have said the bill is too expensive; they prefer a roughly $1.6 trillion proposal put forward by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Talks between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Mnuchin are expected to continue, although Pelosi has said she is not confident that a mutually acceptable compromise can be reached, at least in the near term.

“Anything above $1 trillion would be difficult,” CNN quoted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. “There’s a real revulsion among Republicans to going above $1 trillion, and even $1 trillion is real difficult.”

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