Eventually, we all gave up on the idea that Congress would pass a second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks before the presidential election. That’s certain now that the election is upon us, arriving on November 3.
However, will you get a second round of stimulus checks after the presidential election?
Both sides have voiced a desire to get a second stimulus relief plan through, and it would likely include a second round of stimulus checks because Republicans and Democrats generally agree they’re needed. Both sides have said the checks should mirror the amounts last time around — $1,200 per adult individual or $3,400 for a family of four — but with more money allotted to dependents.
Any plan would require a vote in Congress and enough Democrats to agree with their Republican counterparts. Who ends up in the presidency and in control of Congress after the election will certainly make a difference. If Democrats win the Senate, House and White House, they are likely to pass their proposed $2.2 trillion package if they can get to at least 60 total votes. That’s the magic number of votes needed to pass a stimulus relief package.
If President Donald Trump wins reelection and/or the Senate stays in GOP hands, then negotiations will likely begin again. The problem is that the two sides are pretty far apart, with the currently Republican-controlled Senate only willing to support $500 billion, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. In addition, McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Trump disagree on the timeline for a package after the election.
Trump wants to act faster than McConnell does based on their public statements. According to CNBC, Trump said, “We will have a tremendous stimulus package immediately after the election.” Trump added: “After the election, we will get the best stimulus package you have ever seen,” WKRN reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
McConnell Doesn’t Expect a Second Relief Bill Until 2021
The Senate majority leader has voiced support for a second relief bill but says he doesn’t expect it to happen until 2021.
A second COVID-19 stimulus relief plan could give Americans a second round of direct payments, extended unemployment benefits and more.
McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt that he expects a second plan would occur “right at the beginning” of 2021. McConnell said the relief plan would be aimed “particularly at small businesses that are struggling, and hospitals that are now dealing with the second wave of the coronavirus, and of course the challenges for education, both K-12 and college.”
If Republicans keep control of the Senate, and Joe Biden wins the presidency, what happens then? “I think Democrats would want to wait until the new president is sworn in and do it then and I think Republicans probably would say … the economy’s taking care of it,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, according to WKRN.
But will the GOP still be in charge of the Senate when this is all over? (Democrats control the U.S. House.) That’s unclear. According to USA Today, Democrats need to take four seats to seize control, and three if Biden wins. Nine GOP seats are believed to be up for grabs and potentially in play for Democrats, the newspaper reports.
Pelosi Says She Wants a Plan Sooner
In an October 30 interview on MSNBC, Pelosi indicated she’d like to pass a stimulus deal before the end of the year “because people are suffering, and they need help.” But it has to be a “policy that allocates the resources in a way that is effective and not just give money to the President to spend any way he may desire, but not to solve the problem,” she said. “Certainly, we’ll have something at the start of the new presidency, but we don’t want to have to wait that long, because people have needs.”
In her October 29 weekly press conference, Pelosi explained: “I want a bill for two reasons. First and foremost, the American people need help. They need real help. And, second of all, we have plenty of work to do in the Joe Biden administration,” Pelosi said.
Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, wrote on Twitter, “Two weeks later, the White House still has not lived up to Secretary Mnuchin’s promise to accept Democrats’ language to crush the virus, and we still are waiting for meaningful responses in the areas the Speaker outlined.”