For months now, millions of Americans have been holding out hope that they could receive a second coronavirus stimulus check before November. But with the election nearing, the window to reach an agreement on the parameters of a second stimulus package is narrowing.
On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi imposed a 48-hour deadline to reach a consensus on a stimulus plan before the election.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week”, Pelosi said, “The 48 only relates to if we want to get it done before the election, which we do… But we’re saying to them we have to freeze the design on some of these things. Are we going with it or not? And what is the language.”
Is it even possible for a deal to be reached by Tuesday? Asked that exact question, Pelosi said, “Well that depends on the [Trump] administration.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Stimulus Package Sticking Points
For months now, both sides of the aisle have debated the details of a stimulus plan and each side has proposed their own economic relief package to alleviate the economic stress faced amid the pandemic.
In the words of the Washington Post, “Pelosi’s on-again-off-again talks with Mnuchin over a deal costing between $1.8 trillion and $2.2 trillion have been dragging on for months without producing results.”
On Saturday, President Donald Trump said he would approve a package with a price tag over $2.2 trillion; the sticking point, however, remains what would actually be contained in the package. Most recently, according to a previous Heavy article, disagreement has come over a national strategic testing plan.
Last week, Pelosi penned an article that highlighted other points of contention, including unemployment insurance, tax credits, child care funding, and the liability protections.
‘Reaching An Agreement by Tuesday Seems Next to Impossible’
The Washington Post reported that reaching a consensus on a stimulus package by Tuesday seems “next to impossible.” The outlet highlighted that even if an agreement was reached, Republicans have been quick to dismiss the overall price of the package that Pelosi and Mnuchin have suggested.
Last week, Trump said that not only would he go higher than the $1.8 trillion relief package proposed by White House negotiators, but that China would be the one paying for it.
The impasse over stimulus negotiations comes in the midst of concerning indications of economic distress.
According to The New York Times, nearly 900,000 Americans filed new state unemployment claims last week– a jump of nearly 77,000 from the previous week.
Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, told the New York Times, “It’s discouraging. We’re still stuck at a level of claims that are far higher than it was during the worst of what followed the crash of 2008. The labor market appears to be stalled, which underscores the need for new stimulus as quickly as possible.”
These continued signs of economic despair are compounded by the thousands of layoffs taking place at large companies like United Airlines, Disney, and Allstate.
And recent reports obtained by The New York Times indicate the number of poor people has increased by eight million since May.
READ NEXT: Stimulus Check 2 Status: August Update