What does the debate over the next stimulus package mean for Arizonans?


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When it comes to negotiating the next coronavirus stimulus package, House Democrats and Senate Republicans are at odds. Again.

In May, Democrats, who control the House, proposed a $3 trillion plan that extended the $600 emergency unemployment benefit until January. Their plan also included an additional $1,200 stimulus check and additional funding for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.

Republicans rejected the plan, but did not unveil their own until earlier this week. Their $1 trillion proposal also includes an additional $1,200 stimulus check for millions of Americans. It also offers legal protections for small businesses and schools against liability claims, with the hopes that such protections will encourage them to reopen.

However, the proposal also caps federal unemployment assistance to 70% of a workers' pay rather than extending the $600 unemployment bonus. That program would be phased in over the next two months. While it's being rolled out, unemployed Americans would only receive a $200 boost to their unemployment claims.

Democrats were challenging the Republican proposal even before it was officially fleshed out publicly. With markers laid down on both partisan sides, only one thing appears imminent: gridlock. And it comes at a time when many Americans are being pushed to the financial edge.

In this week's episode of The Gaggle: An Arizona politics podcasts, hosts Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen talk to business reporter Ryan Randazzo about the effects a delayed stimulus bill could have on the state of Arizona. They also discuss whether or not the state has the financial ability to step in and help those are unemployed while Congress stalls.

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