As Americans wait with bated breath to see whether they will get a second COVID-19 stimulus check, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, is mincing no words about Senate Republicans, calling them the “laziest leaders in COVID” for not getting another check to Americans.
“The House voted to send a 2nd stimulus check *2 mos ago* & Senate Republicans haven’t even discussed it,” she wrote. “For a party that pretends to care abt hard work, they are the laziest leaders in COVID. Even House GOP work harder, & they don’t even read bills. GET TO WORK @senatemajldr.”
She also retweeted a comment from Fox News journalist Chad Pergram, who wrote, “Senate Dem source says Schumer tells Senate Dems he’s had no outreach from McConnell on next coronavirus bill. McConnell has said repeatedly he intends to write the bill in his office, if there is in fact another coronavirus bill.” He’s referring to Chuck Schumer, the Democratic senator from New York.
Some people responded to Ocasio-Ortiz by claiming they still haven’t received their first stimulus check. “Haven’t even gotten my first stimulus check. When I called they said I just have to ‘keep waiting,'” one woman wrote in response to her tweet. “My unemployment runs out next week.”
However, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated recently that he believes there will be another bill. Whether it will contain a second stimulus check payment to Americans (or in what form and amount) is unclear. He has made it clear a second bill would likely contain COVID-19 liability protection, however, for institutions like universities.
Here’s what you need to know:
McConnell Is ‘Predicting’ a Second Stimulus Package
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is “predicting” that a second COVID-19 stimulus “rescue package” will happen, and he said it “could well” include second direct stimulus check payments to some Americans.
According to Bloomberg, McConnell, a Republican, made the comments at a news conference in his home state of Kentucky. The news site reported that McConnell said: “We shouldn’t lightly add more to the national debt, but I’m predicting that we will have one more rescue package, which we’ll begin to debate and discuss next week.”
It’s likely that the GOP will put forward its own stimulus relief plan to counter the Democratic version, Bloomberg reported. Lots of things still need to be hashed out, according to Bloomberg. They include unemployment benefits, business hiring incentives, small business grants, stimulus checks to individuals, and more, Bloomberg reports.
The first stimulus checks were passed by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, “which included nearly $500 billion in direct income transfers for families across the country,” according to the Center on Poverty & Social Policy at Columbia University
Many Americans are hoping for a second COVID-19 stimulus check to help them get through the continuing pandemic. However, there’s one big roadblock standing between them and another check: The Republican-controlled Senate.
Democrats have already passed the bill for another check, called the HEROES Act, but the plan needs to make it through the Senate. However, there have been indications from some top Republicans and President Donald Trump that a second round of checks could happen, although the form they would take is unclear. McConnell’s latest comment increases those chances.
According to CNBC, the second round of stimulus checks could get families as much as $6,000, and they’d also include people who were left out the last time, like adult dependents (many of whom are college students.) Unemployment insurance would also be extended. However, that’s the Democratic plan, and it’s likely that a GOP plan would take a different form.
McConnell’s comments came on Monday, July 6 in Kentucky. McConnell said, “I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less. And many of them work in the hospitality industry.” He said the hospitality industry, hotels, restaurants, was hit hard. He added that the Senate will consider a proposal July 20.
Asked specifically whether there will be direct funding to individuals (a second stimulus check), he said, “could well,” and made the above comment, adding, “that could well be a part of it.”
He said he wanted to “take another look at this in July. Well, it’s now July.” Will there be another bill? he asked, referring to a stimulus check.
“I would predict in the next couple weeks if there’s a new rescue package, and I’m pretty sure there will be, I’ll be unveiling another one.”
He said liability protection will likely be one focus of it, for doctors, hospitals, universities, and so forth. He said “we can’t get back to normal if we end up having an epidemic of lawsuits.” He said “that will be in there.”
McConnell has indicated before that a second package will “come soon” and said it will prioritize investing in “future generations,” but he didn’t explain exactly what that meant. He has advocated for COVID-19 liability shields for universities and corporations, according to Forbes.
It’s likely the package won’t take the exact form of the Democratic House HEROES Act, which McConnell pronounced “dead on arrival” back in May. “What you’ve seen in the House [from] Nancy is not something designed to deal with reality, but designed to deal with aspirations. This is not a time for aspirational legislation, this is a time for practical response to the coronavirus pandemic,” McConnell said at that time.
President Trump Says Another Stimulus Package Will Happen & It Will Be ‘Very Generous’
President Donald Trump is now on the record in support of a second stimulus package.
Trump said recently, “We will be doing another stimulus package, it will be very good, very generous.” Asked if there would be a second check, Trump also said, “We are, we are” and said it would be “very dramatic, very good.”
The Washington Post reported: “President Trump has told aides he is largely supportive of sending Americans another round of stimulus checks, expressing the belief that the payments will boost the economy and help his chances at reelection in November.”
The week of July 13, Trump said, “We are working on another stimulus package, and that will take place … very soon.”