The Senate returns from its summer recess on Tuesday, September 8, and many are hoping this will mark an end to the stalemate over stimulus relief packages.
The House of Representatives is scheduled to return on Monday, September 14.
Congress’ next break is in October to prepare for the election, meaning they have just a few weeks to reach an agreement on the details of a stimulus package for the American people.
Here’s what you need to know:
Senate Republicans Will Release Their ‘Skinny’ Relief Bill on Tuesday
On Monday morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed that Senate Republicans would unveil their ‘skinny’ relief package on Tuesday. According to Nexstar Media Wire, McConnell stated that the package would target “health care, education, and economic issues.” He added that he hopes for a vote “as soon as this week.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin relayed similar sentiments on Sunday while speaking to Fox News Sunday. He said, “Let’s do a more targeted bill now. If we need to do more in 30 days we’ll continue to do more. But let’s not hold up the American workers and American businesses.”
On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made it clear he is poised to dismiss the Senate’s proposal. In a letter to his caucus, he wrote, “Republicans may call their proposal ‘skinny,’ but it would be more appropriate to call it ‘emaciated.’ Their proposal appears to be completely inadequate and, by every measure, fails to meet the needs of the American people.”
He added, “With no money for rental assistance, no money for nutrition assistance, and no money for state and local services, the census, or safe elections, [Majority] Leader [Mitch] McConnell and Senate Republicans would be making another unacceptable and ineffective attempt at providing relief,” according to CNBC.
How Much Do People Want to Spend?
As CNBC pointed out, the ‘skinny’ bill “follows a roughly $1 trillion plan the GOP released in late July.” Democrats have urged Republican lawmakers to increase their relief package to $2.2 trillion, but the White House has yet to offer anything over $1.3 trillion.
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi discussed the impending stimulus bill with Mnuchin but said that there are still “serious differences” between both parties, according to CNBC.
While Americans wait to hear the Senate’s proposal, President Donald Trump has said Congress should send a second stimulus check out now.
According to Forbes, Trump said Friday that Congress should use the leftover money from coronavirus relief funds to fund additional relief payments. “We have $300 billion in an account that we didn’t use,” Trump said. “I would be willing to release it, subject to Congress, and use that as stimulus money and it would go right to the American people.”
He added, “It’s money that we have — money that we built up and money that we haven’t spent, and I would love to give it to the American people as a very powerful stimulus. I think there is a theory that I could do it without having to go back, but I think it would be appropriate to go back, and I would ask Congress to approve it. It’s a very simple approval. It’s literally, it’s a one-sentence approval, and the Democrats should do that. The Republicans will do that. They would be glad to do that.”
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