House coronavirus bill to cost $2.5 trillion

House coronavirus bill to cost $2.5 trillion
© Greg Nash

The coronavirus stimulus bill House Democrats unveiled Monday would cost an estimated $2.5 trillion, nearly 40 percent more than the $1.8 trillion bill being considered in the Senate.

The House bill removes restrictions  on paid sick and family leave that were in an earlier coronavirus package signed into law, expands unemployment insurance and includes strict conditions for corporations receiving federal bailouts.

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMeadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House Pelosi floats undoing SALT deduction cap in next coronavirus bill Overnight Health Care: More states order residents to stay at home | Trump looks to sell public on coronavirus response | Judges block Ohio, Texas abortion bans | Dems eye infrastructure in next relief bill MORE (D-Calif.) has said the House may take up the Senate version if a bipartisan agreement is reached but threatened to call back the lower chamber for a vote in the event of a deadlock.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJoe Biden can't lead the charge from his home in Delaware Texas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday said that negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinUS extends waivers on Iran sanctions amid coronavirus pandemic On The Money: Democrats eye infrastructure in next coronavirus package | Mnuchin touts online system to speed up relief checks | Stocks jump despite more stay-at-home orders Schumer praises choice of Defense inspector general to oversee corporate lending fund MORE were making steady progress and that he was hoping for a deal by day's end.

Democrats twice blocked the bill from advancing in the Senate over complaints that it was not tough enough on big corporations set to receive money from the package and that it lacked enough funds to bolster the health care response to the pandemic.

Republicans have blasted Democrats for holding up the bill, arguing their demands include provisions tied to climate change and other issues that should not be part of the current debate.

Stock markets fell further on Monday, putting pressure on both sides to reach a deal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden spar over coronavirus response Senator Tom Coburn's government oversight legacy Schumer praises choice of Defense inspector general to oversee corporate lending fund MORE (R-Ky.) has sought to use the market tensions as leverage in the political battle.

Economists have called for significant government spending in the face of the pandemic, which has taken a tire iron to the economy. Forecasters are expecting a huge spike in unemployment and a massive economic contraction in the second quarter of the year. Markets have lost more than a third of their value since peaking in February.

A $2.5 trillion package would increase annual government spending, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, by more than 50 percent. It would triple the annual deficit.

Experts argue that increasing deficit spending is important for battling an economic downturn, though fiscal hawks lament the unbridled rise in deficits and national debt during the flush times that preceded the crisis.