Is a second coronavirus stimulus check on the horizon?
For weeks now, Americans struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic have asked this question, and unfortunately, the answer remains unclear. While some lawmakers have expressed optimism when it comes to reaching a deal, others continue to believe there is no additional payment in sight.
On Wednesday, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that both sides of the aisle are still “very, very far apart” on negotiations surrounding another relief payment. He said that Democrats and Republicans still cannot agree on the total price of a relief package, and described House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s $2.2 trillion proposal, introduced on September 28, as “outlandish.”
Now that October is here, what’s the status of a relief payment? Is it possible that we’ll receive one before the November election?
Here’s what you need to know:
The Democrats’ HEROES Act
The sticking point when it comes to a stimulus package is the overall price of a package– Democrats are urging for a deal that’s $2 trillion plus, while Republicans have said the deal needs to be less than $2 trillion for it to pass, according to Politico.
On September 28, Democrats unveiled their revised HEROES Act, which would include another round of $1,200 stimulus checks. It would also provide enhanced unemployment benefits at $600 per week, reported CBS News.
Speaking on September 30 about the legislation, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the bill was “no more serious than any of their political stunts going back months.”
He added, “If they continue to refuse to get serious, then American families will continue to hurt.”
Congress Adjourns for the Election
While a new package is possible before the November 3 election, the window for reaching an agreement on the parameters of that package is narrowing.
The final day of the Senate session before it adjourns is October 9, according to CNET.
The House has already stated it will postpone the start of its recess, which was originally scheduled for October 2, until a consensus is reached.
As CNET pointed out, “If the bill passes the Senate on or by Oct. 9, the House could pass it after that date. And if negotiators close in on a deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could also compel the Senate to stay in session longer or come back early to vote on a proposal.”
They reiterate that the schedules to break can be extended by the leaders of the Senate and the House.
On October 1, Mnuchin and Pelosi are slated to sit down to continue talks on a bipartisan bill. If they are able to come to an agreement on the details of a stimulus package, then it would need to pass in the House and the Senate, and be signed by President Donald Trump, in order to become law.