On The Money: Schumer vows Senate will take up ‘bold’ coronavirus bill, rejecting GOP offer | GOP senators, Biden send positive vibes after long WH meeting

On The Money: Schumer vows Senate will take up ‘bold’ coronavirus bill, rejecting GOP offer | GOP senators, Biden send positive vibes after long WH meeting

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THE BIG DEAL—Schumer vows Senate will take up ‘bold’ coronavirus bill, rejecting GOP offer: Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCongressional Democrats are on the wrong side of impeachment politics Proposal for permanent Capitol fencing sparks bipartisan pushback Immigration reform can’t wait MORE (D-N.Y.) vowed on Monday that the Senate would take up a “bold” coronavirus relief package, appearing to reject a smaller offer from Republicans. 

“Congress must pursue a bold and robust course of action. It makes no sense to pinch pennies when so many Americans are struggling,” Schumer said from the Senate floor.  

The decision to move forward with the reconciliation process comes as a group of 10 Senate Republicans will meet with Biden and Vice President Harris on coronavirus relief. The Hill’s Jordain Carney has more here.

Breaking down the Republican counteroffer: The Republican proposal totals $618 billion, according to details released by Collins’s office on Monday morning. That is roughly a third of the $1.9 trillion plan proposed by Biden and backed by congressional Democrats.

  • The proposal includes $160 billion in pandemic response funding, including protective equipment and more money for vaccine distribution. It also extends the $300 per week federal unemployment benefit through June 30.
  • The bill includes a $1,000 direct payment, compared to the $1,400 direct payment in Biden’s plans, with $500 for adult dependents and children. The proposal also lowers the income cap for qualifying for the direct assistance.
  • It also includes $20 billion in additional funding for schools, $20 billion in child care funding, an additional $50 billion in small business aid, $12 billion for nutrition assistance and $4 billion for behavioral health resources.

GOP senators cite progress in meeting with Biden: While Schumer has taken a hard line on a big bill, Republican senators walked away largely pleased after a two-hour meeting with Biden.

LEADING THE DAY

Biden’s push for stimulus checks sparks income eligibility debate: President Biden’s push for more direct payments is sparking a debate over income thresholds for another round of stimulus checks.

  • Many Republicans and some centrist Democrats say any additional payments need to be more targeted toward lower-income households. They argue lower-income folks are most in need of relief and are more likely to spend the money quickly, providing a boost to the economy.
  • Progressives, meanwhile, insist that broad eligibility would make sure money gets out the door swiftly and help people who may have suffered steep drops in income during the pandemic.

Biden has signaled he is open to discussing income limits for additional checks in his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, but he’ll face plenty of political pressure on both sides.

The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda breaks down the debate here.

While Biden is facing calls from his right to pare down stimulus checks, progressives are ready to push hard from the left on several of their priorities in his $1.9 trillion offer.

  • Progressive Democrats are pushing a plan to ignore the Senate parliamentarian if she rules policies such as raising the minimum wage can’t be included in a budget reconciliation package.
  • Using the process would prevent Republicans from blocking a bill by ensuring one could pass with 50 Senate Democratic votes, and Vice President Harris breaking the tie.
  • A number of budget experts believe a minimum wage hike might not meet Byrd Rule requirements, and that the Senate parliamentarian could rule that it could not be included in a reconciliation package.

The Hill’s Niv Elis walks us through the arguments here.

Robinhood raises $2.4 billion over weekend after GameStop fury: The stock trading app Robinhood raised $2.4 billion over the weekend despite criticism it endured for pausing purchasing of some stocks popularized by online forums.

The day trading app’s Chief Financial Officer Jason Warnick said in a blog post Monday that the latest infusion “will help us scale to meet the incredible growth we’ve seen and demand for our platform.”

The background: 

  • Robinhood took heat last week after blocking users from purchasing stocks from GameStop, AMC and Blackberry, companies which were targeted by the Reddit subforum r/WallStreetBets.
  • The company has explained that it was forced to make that decision because the extra traffic on its product meant it had to put much more money into the clearinghouse that processes its trades. 
  • Traffic on Robinhood grew an unprecedented 1,200 percent last week, according to an analysis by Similar Web.

MARKET CHECK: Stocks bounced back Monday from a week of wild volatility and broad losses across the market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a gain of nearly 230 points, rising 0.8 percent Monday. The S&P 500 rose 1.6 percent, and the Nasdaq rose 2.6 percent.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • A group of more than 50 House members is urging the IRS to use the information it obtained from a stimulus payment-related web tool to increase outreach about two tax credits that benefit low-income families who may not be aware of their eligibility.
  • President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal would restore the economy to pre-pandemic levels by this summer, according to an analysis published Monday by S&P Global.
  • And the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in a report released Monday projected that the COVID-19 relief package Congress passed in December will lead to the economy growing 1.5 percent faster on average in both 2021 and 2022.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Google is set to pay nearly $2.6 million to settle allegations that it underpaid thousands of female workers and discriminated against female and Asian job applicants.
  • Corporate America is showing no signs of rushing to snatch up the vast majority of high-level Trump officials.