What Nancy Pelosi wants in the next stimulus package

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was an early voice calling for a fourth stimulus package.
  • The House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act in mid-May, extending, among other things, the $600 unemployment bonus through January and sending another round of checks to Americans.
  • Pelosi also wants to roll bank the limit on the state and local tax deduction that was part of Trump's 2017 tax cut.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The federal government made history in March when it passed into law a $2.2 trillion stimulus package that included an unprecedented expansion of unemployment benefits and a massive $349 billion program for small-business lending.

The law was the third stimulus package designed as relief for the coronavirus pandemic — but it might not have been enough. In mid-May, House Democrats passed a fourth stimulus package to the tune of $3 trillion. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was an early voice saying that even the massive third stimulus package wasn't big enough. She advocated for another round of direct payments to Americans like the $1,200 checks sent to people as part of the "phase-three" package.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a floor speech on May 12, the day the House bill was introduced, that it had "no chance of becoming law," Business Insider reported.

The outbreak, which has infected more than 4.8 million Americans, has shuttered nonessential businesses in most states, including many in hospitality and food services, and led to a record number of jobless claims: more than 55 million over 20 weeks, though the number has remained around 1.3 million for much of the summer.

What is in the House stimulus bill

The phase-four "Heroes Act" would also extend the $600 weekly bonus to unemployment benefits through January, which Republicans have repeatedly pushed back against, calling it a "disincentive" for people to go back to work. As of early August, both McConnell and President Trump were beginning to voice approval for extending the $600 bonus.

The House bill would provide nearly $1 trillion in additional aid to states and cities to help them pay essential workers like first responders and healthcare workers during the pandemic.

Other measures include providing $75 billion for coronavirus testing and tracing, doling out more $1,200 direct payments to people (up to $6,000 per household), extending weekly $600 federal unemployment benefits through January, and giving renters and homeowners $175 billion in aid.

Pelosi told The New York Times in March that her preference for a phase four would include some kind of retroactive rollback of the limit on the state and local tax deduction. Part of the tax cut passed in 2017, the SALT policy change especially hurt high earners in states like New York and Pelosi's California.

Rolling it back would increase tax rebates for about 13 million households, according to The Times' estimates, nearly all of them earning at least $100,000. This provision apparently made it into the Heroes Act, HuffPost's Tara Golshan reported.

In mid-July, Pelosi told a group of reporters that Republican senators "know there's going to be a bill." She added that the Republican proposal at that time was $1.3 trillion and "that's not enough," CNBC reported. A few weeks later, after the prior stimulus was allowed to lapse, Pelosi told CNN that Democrats wouldn't budge on the $600 weekly bonus as long as unemployment remains high, but could tie a smaller bonus to a declining jobless rate.

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