• Senate Republicans introduced their coronavirus relief bill on Monday, known as the HEALS Act (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools Act).
  • The proposal included another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, and reduced unemployment benefits, and allocated $105 billion towards education — two-thirds of the funding is tied to schools reopening — another $30 billion to military funds, and $1.75 billion for a new FBI building.
  • The act also suggested doubling the “three-martini lunch” deduction, a tax deduction for reimbursed business meals, from 50% to 100% of the meal.
  • However, the proposed bill does not expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, which provides food relief to millions of people facing food insecurity amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
  • “They didn’t have money for food stamps, but they had money for an FBI building just so that they can diminish competition for the president’s hotel,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday evening in response to the proposal.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Senate Republicans unveiled their coronavirus relief proposal on Monday, which doesn’t expand the food stamps program.

The $1 trillion relief bill, known as the HEALS Act (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools Act) included another round of $1,200 stimulus checks and reduced unemployment benefits in comparison to its predecessor, the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act).

It also allocated $105 billion towards education — though two-thirds of the funding is tied to schools reopening — another $30 billion to military funds, and $1.75 billion for a new FBI building.

It also proposes doubling a tax deduction on business meals, The Washington Post reported. Among the incremental inclusions in the proposal, the HEALS Act also suggested doubling the “three-martini lunch” deduction, a tax deduction for reimbursed business meals, from 50% to 100% of the meal, The Post reported.

The proposed bill does not expand the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, which provides food relief to millions of people who bore the economic brunt of the coronavirus pandemic.

It also did not extend the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program — “a debit-card benefit for households with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals,” according to The Post. The program ended in June.

“They didn’t have money for food stamps, but they had money for an FBI building just so that they can diminish competition for the president’s hotel,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday evening in response to the proposal.

A study by Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that houses a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, projected that local rates of food insecurity in the US could impact up to 1 in 3 adults and 1 in 2 children amid the pandemic.

Hunger relief advocates slammed the proposal, saying the bill is “entirely divorced from the reality of the crisis this country is facing,” Sarah Reinhardt, the lead food-systems and health analyst for the Food and Environment Program at Union of Concerned Scientists, told The Post.

“Given the national conversation about institutional racism and inequality, the decision is baffling,” Luis Guardia, president of the Food Research and Action Center, told The Post.

“It’s hard to think of a program that has SNAP’s virtuous cycle of feeding people,” Guardia continued. “That money turns over in the local economy quickly and creates more jobs, and ultimately if people have steady jobs, they aren’t hungry.”

LoadingSomething is loading.

Source News