Yahoo Finance’s Julie Hyman, Myles Udland, Brian Sozzi, and Jessica Smith discuss U.S. stimulus outlook.
MYLES UDLAND: But in the background, we still have negotiations or discussions, I should say, under way down in Washington, DC on what the next round of stimulus may look like. Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith joins us now with an expected meeting on this topic between some Republican leaders and the president.
JESSICA SMITH: Right, Myles, a group of 10 Republican senators is going to meet with President Biden later today. They wrote him a letter over the weekend asking for this meeting and proposing a $618 billion plan that they say can get bipartisan support and can move through Congress quickly. Just in the past few minutes, they actually released the full details of that plan. It will include $160 billion for vaccines, testing, tracing, and PPE. It has $1,000 stimulus checks, but they would be more targeted than the previous direct payments we'd seen.
It would also extend current $300 a week in enhanced unemployment benefits through the end of June. It would have $4 billion for behavioral health, substance abuse services, and then $40 billion in funding for schools and child care, as well as money for small businesses. It does not include the $15 minimum wage that President Biden has been pushing for. That's something he really wants to see in a stimulus package.
But the White House did quickly accept the offer of a meeting. They said they'll have a full exchange of views. And the White House Press Secretary said in a statement, with the virus posing a grave threat to the country and economic conditions grim for so many, the need for action is urgent and the scale of what must be done is large. Julie, Myles, she went on to say, the danger is not doing too much, but doing too little. So we'll see if this group today can find any common ground to move forward.
JULIE HYMAN: And, Jess, if they cannot, do the Democrats then have sort of a backup plan to try to get something through without Republican support?
JESSICA SMITH: They do. And they're moving ahead with that backup plan today. In that White House statement, we found out that President Biden did speak with Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi yesterday. And he thanked them for getting to work on laying the groundwork to pass his $1.9 trillion plan. This week they're going to consider a budget resolution, which is the first step in the reconciliation process, which allows Congress to pass legislation with just a simple majority vote. But we should note even that is going to be difficult because the Democrats have to satisfy every single member of their party, including Senator Joe Manchin, who is very moderate, and Senator Bernie Sanders. So that's going to be an uphill battle as well.
MYLES UDLAND: All right, Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith with the latest on discussions down in DC. Jess, we'll talk to you later this week.