As the Senate continued negotiating a coronavirus stimulus package that could be passed Tuesday, House Democrats introduced their own package Monday with more worker-friendly provisions, including measures addressing the multiemployer pension crisis.
"The Senate Republican bill put corporations first," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said about the 1,400-page House bill, which calls for more restrictions on companies receiving aid from the government, including a ban on stock buybacks and executive bonuses, and on lobbying until the funds are repaid.
The House package, with an estimated $2.5 trillion price tag, calls for direct payments to affected workers and minimum wage conditions on corporation getting assistance.
The multiemployer pension provisions revive the idea of a federal loan program for plans facing insolvency. It mirrors legislation passed in 2019 by the House that failed to gain traction in the Senate. Struggling plans would have to apply for loans, while plans that have already received permission to reduce benefits would have to reinstate them.
The Senate economic stimulus package, now projected to cost $2 trillion, is expected to provide direct payments to many taxpayers and small businesses, plus hundreds of billions for airlines and other industries impacted by the crisis. Senate Democrats are pushing for more strings to be attached to companies receiving assistance.
If the Senate can address some of House Democrats' concerns, Ms. Pelosi said, the House would agree to the Senate deal.