Millions of Americans received a coronavirus stimulus check earlier this year, and now, they’re wondering whether a second payment is on the horizon.
With the election looming, the window for Republicans and Democrats to reach an agreement on the details of an economic relief package is closing. However, with millions of Americans out of work due to the economic distress brought on by the pandemic, many lawmakers are still pushing for a bill to be passed.
As AS.com pointed out, the Senate is set to break on October 2, but is “prepared to postpone the start of its next break.” The House has already stated it would delay leaving for the November elections until a legislation agreement was reached.
Here’s what you need to know:
Progress Has Been Made On the Total Cost of a Package
While the White House has suggested it would increase the total cost of a stimulus package to $1.5 trillion, according to AS.com, Democrats have dropped from $3 trillion to $2.2 trillion. Late last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that “they’re not budging” anymore when it comes to the overall cost of an economic relief package.
Last week, a group of 50 House lawmakers proposed a bipartisan stimulus package designed to “bring together Washington’s bitterly divided factions and restart negotiations ahead of the November election,” according to Forbes.
The plan came in at $1.5 trillion and was immediately dismissed by top Democrats. It included $2 trillion in additional aid to the economy, another round of stimulus checks, and an extension on federal unemployment of $450 per week for eight weeks.
Last Tuesday, according to Roll Call, a number of House Democratic committee leaders released a joint statement that said the bipartisan plan “falls short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy.”
Could a Bill Pass Before the Election?
With the presidential election just around the corner, Americans are curious if they could see a bill pass before November 3.
According to CNET, if the Senate voted on September 30, and the House voted on October 1, then the President could sign the bill on October 2. Similarly, if the Senate votes on October 23 and the House does so on October 26, then the President could sign on October 27.
The outlet added, “Based on remarks from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the IRS could potentially start sending checks before Nov. 3 if a new bill is passed by the third week of October.”
As it stands, Congress is at a stalemate, unable to agree on the details of a package.
On September 10, according to CNBC, former Senate staff member Bill Hoagland stated, “At least today, I’m not getting good vibrations about any kind of agreement until after the election.”
He added, “Unless something were to break, and pressure really builds, it’s going to be extremely difficult to find a package.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that if a deal is reached, it would not take long to issue payments. “I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people’s direct accounts.”
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