Coronavirus: Senate wrangles over boosting help for Americans

us senate

The US Senate is set to discuss boosting one-off payments for Americans hit by the coronavirus downturn. But Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, appeared to tie the issue to other unrelated proposals on legal immunity for tech companies and electoral fraud. Mr Trump, Democrats and some Republicans want the payments boosted from $600 (£441) to $2,000. However, there is concern the latest wrangling could scupper any increase. Americans are to begin receiving $600 dollars each under a $900bn-coronavirus stimulus package signed into law on Sunday. But President Trump, Democrats and a growing number of Republicans say that is not enough.

“Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2,000 payments ASAP,” Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday.  From the left of the Democratic Party, former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is among those supporting a boost. “The working class of this country today faces more economic desperation than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s,” he said. Republicans also have an eye on two key Senate run-off elections in Georgia next week, which will determine which of the main parties controls the Senate. The two Republican candidates have come out in favour of increasing the payments.(BBC)…[+]