SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Senate Republicans are expected to unveil a new stimulus package proposal this week, but the plan is much more scaled back than previous versions.
The expected plan will likely come with a price tag of around $500 billion, much less than the Senate’s previous $1 trillion plan.
"Somehow Senate Republicans while debating amongst themselves, have cut their proposal in half," said Western New England University's Associate Economics Professor Karl Petrick.
House Democrats and Senate Republicans are still bouncing back and forth with their proposed plans for a new COVID-19 stimulus package.
"When the Senate went on their August vacation, they had a $1 trillion package Senate Republicans put forward compared to a $3 trillion package the House passed in May," Petrick explained.
While the House has already passed the HEROES Act, the newest package expected to be unveiled this week by Senate Republicans will likely be the least expensive plan yet. Petrick told Western Mass News he doesn’t think this proposal will be agreed on by many.
"This is not a good sign for how likely this is to get through just the Republican side of the Senate, forget the Democrats voting for it," he said.
The Senate's proposal is expected to include a $300 weekly unemployment benefit, but another round of stimulus checks is likely out of the picture.
"That’s a big political miss," he said. "One way to help single households...is to put a check in the mail, that’s been in every single proposal in some way shape or form."
Since the extra $600 unemployment benefit from the CARES Act expired at the end of July, Americans have been waiting for an agreement on a new package. But Petrick said the Senate may not even be able to reveal their proposal in the coming days.
"They’re going to have to iron out their differences this week. They might not even get to put this on the floor," he noted.
Democrats have said they want a more extensive plan, including help for schools, renters, small businesses, and health care providers.