Senate Republicans are pushing a new COVID-19 stimulus relief package called the “skinny” stimulus plan as a measure to break the logjam between Democrats and Republicans, who haven’t been able to agree on the proposal, including its overall price tag. The initial Democratic proposal was about $3.4 trillion, whereas the Senate GOP preferred about $1.1 million.
However, will a second round of stimulus checks be included in the skinny stimulus bill? Although things could change, right now, the checks are not included in the skinny bill, according to Bloomberg. That’s despite the fact the skinny stimulus is supposed to focus on areas where Democrats and Republicans agree; both sides have previously said they agreed on the concept of stimulus checks that generally follow the same guidelines as round one (meaning $1,200 for qualifying Americans and $3,400 for a family of four).
Bloomberg reported that the plan has not been formally presented, but Republicans are circulating it. It provides $300 in weekly extended unemployment benefits, funding for schools and measures involving the postal service, the news site reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
The ‘Skinny’ Plan Reportedly Contains a Variety of Measures – but Not Stimulus Checks
Politico reported that the skinny plan would keep $300 in enhanced unemployment benefits until December 27. It also includes money for the Paycheck Protection Program, “an additional $10 billion for the U.S. Postal Service and liability protections,” as well as money “for education and testing,” according to Politico. However, it doesn’t include stimulus checks.
The skinny plan, which is expected to be introduced shortly, comes as Democrats in the House are returning from summer recess to deal with the postal funding issues, Politico reported.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cautioned that “I can’t tell you with certainty we’re going to reach an agreement,” according to Politico.
When Democrats and Republicans failed to reach an agreement previously, President Donald Trump announced four executive orders to deal with some elements of the stimulus relief plan. However, there are questions about the legality of those orders, and Republicans and Trump have indicated they prefer an act of Congress. Trump’s orders did not include stimulus checks. The Constitution gives funding authority to Congress. Congress then broke for summer recess until Labor Day, but the House is returning to deal with the postal matter. What erupted next was a continued war of words.
Nancy Pelosi Has Indicated Democrats Are Willing to Compromise on the Overall Stimulus Bill Price Tag
According to Yahoo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated that Democrats are willing to meet Republicans halfway between the two amounts. She indicated that Democrats might add in more stimulus relief after the election.U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Yahoo reported that McConnell saw a sign of hope in Pelosi splitting the postal office funding from Democrats’ relief bill. He said that “could open the opportunity for discussion about something smaller than what the speaker and the Democratic Senate leader were insisting on at the point of impasse,” in an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal, Yahoo reported.
However, on August 18, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated the negotiations still remained stalled, The Wall Street Journal reported. To pass, the skinny bill would need to also be embraced by Democrats. As there are still negotiations coming, it’s possible that stimulus checks could be added in later.