Massachusetts lawmakers are pressing for a robust COVID-19 stimulus package, including direct payments to Americans, as congressional leaders and the Trump administration continue haggling over proposals as they have over the course of the pandemic.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday proposed a $916 billion package that included $600 checks to most Americans — too meager in the eyes of several Massachusetts Democrats, and he would fund them through a potential nonstarter for many Republicans and Democrats alike: slashing a proposed $300 weekly boost to unemployment insurance.

Democrats have long pushed for at least $1,200 checks, and President Donald Trump has often called for a bold package that would be costlier than anything backed by his Republican allies. Yet a recent bipartisan $908 billion proposal included no stimulus checks at all.

...Rep. Katherine Clark told WBUR on Tuesday that the liability protections represent a “callous disregard for the American people and what they are going through.”

“Corporate liability protections do not stop families from losing their homes or put food on their tables,” Clark tweeted. “Yet, Mitch McConnell has refused to pass relief without it. He always puts profits over people. The fact is we can’t do too much or move too fast to help the American people.”

“We cannot agree to release employers who have caused their employees to get sick or to die from their responsibilities,” Warren told reporters Monday. “Part of the reason for that is that will affect future behavior. COVID cases continue to climb and that means we need employers to be more vigilant, not less.”

...Nearly 60 House Democrats, including Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Jim McGovern, wrote to congressional leaders calling for direct checks to Americans.

“We have learned from the CARES Act that the (stimulus checks) saved many families from financial ruin and sheltered the economy as a whole,” the House Democrats wrote, noting many Americans spent checks on groceries, utility bills, rent and consumer debts. The stimulus checks helped save people from property and propped up the economy over the second quarter due to a boost in consumer spending, the lawmakers said.


Original story here.