Here's the scoop on what's happening this week in Congress
On Tuesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released the Senate Republicans’ next COVID-19 stimulus package. The Health Economic Assistance Liability Protection & Schools (HEALS) Act includes $1 trillion in: aid to schools, hospitals, and health services; a second round of stimulus checks; unemployment assistance; loan forgiveness for small businesses; liability protections for businesses open during the pandemic; and miscellaneous funding for defense, a new FBI headquarters, and White House improvements. The HEALS Act also provides $16 billion new funding for COVID testing and contact tracing.
House Democrats, who passed their $3.5 trillion stimulus package in May, called the Senate proposal insufficient for pandemic relief. The House’s Heroes Act included $75 billion for testing and contact tracing efforts. Negotiations between the Senate and the House currently appear to be at a stalemate.
With this expected to be the last stimulus package before the November elections, NCSD issued a press release asking Congress to fund local and state health departments and support the $75 billion for contact tracing and testing efforts.