After testing positive for COVID-19 Chartee Brennan passed it to her father. They’ve both since recovered.

Pacific Daily News

Del. Michael San Nicolas is optimistic about another stimulus package, which if signed into law could allot more than $1 billion to the government of Guam. 

House Democrats unveiled a $2.2 trillion relief bill on Monday, but it is likely to face opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate if it passes the House, USA TODAY reported.

This is another shot at COVID-19 relief negotiations: House Democrats passed a $3.4 trillion relief plan in May, the HEROES Act, but Senate Republicans declined to take action on the legislation. Senate Republicans at the end of July proposed a smaller package, the HEALS Act, which Senate Democrats rejected. 

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“The good news is that we have common ground between the White House and the House. Negotiations were really stalled out over the past month. …The key is going to be whether we can find compromise between two of the three (proposals), because even the Senate’s proposal is not satisfactory to the White House,” San Nicolas said. “This new round, I think, has a high chance of gaining traction.” 

“The original HEROES Act was $1 trillion more expensive. We were able to reduce the cost of this version by $1 trillion,” he said. A major reason for the difference is that there is no funding for additional payments for essential workers.

“That’s significant, because it’s bringing us closer to finding a compromise,” he said. 

San Nicolas stressed that resources for Guam remain allocated in the bill. Benefits for Guam, if the bill passes with its current language, include: 

  • $1.17 billion to the government of Guam, which can be used to compensate for decreased revenues; 
  • Another round of $1,200 stimulus checks, which will include college students and other adult dependents; 
  • Reinstatement of the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, backdated to July 31, and extending to Jan. 31, 2021;
  • $66.9 million in rental assistance to Guam;
  • $446 million for Guam’s hospital and critical infrastructure needs; 
  • 75% reimbursement of Earned Income Tax Credit, which amounts to about $40 million for Guam; 
  • $364 million for elementary, secondary and post-secondary education on Guam;
  • $300 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans for the U.S. territories

The bill would also establish a federal small business grant program, and offer support specifically to those in the restaurant, food and beverage industries, which require great help on Guam, San Nicolas said. 

Many of the benefits previously approved by Congress ran out earlier this year. The $600 federal benefit to unemployment assistance expired at the end of July, and many local businesses have reported spending through their Paycheck Protection Program loans. 

Around 30,000 Guam residents remain out of work or with reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Reporter Anumita Kaur covers military, business and tourism on Guam. Follow her on Twitter @anumitakaur. Reach her at [email protected] 

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