It’s generally accepted that both Democrats and Republicans agree Americans need a second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks along the same amounts as last time but including an expanded number of adult dependents.
People have been hoping for months to receive another $1,200 check and $3,400 for a family of four. The amounts would need to go to a vote, but both sides have voiced support for checks that follow those guidelines.
The presidential election changed the political calculus for Democrats and Republicans when it came to approving a second round of checks, and they never agreed on the price tag for a second stimulus relief bill that would include the checks.
It’s not certain who will win November 3, of course, as voters are heading to the polls today. However, if former Vice President Joe Biden wins the White House, will you get a second stimulus check sooner? When?
Here’s what you need to know:
Pelosi Says She Wants a Stimulus Deal Before a Biden Administration Would Take Office
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the efforts for the Democrats, told Politico that she believes Biden will win (the polls generally agree with her, but that was true in 2016 too, so who knows?)
But Pelosi made it clear that she will push for a deal before the presidential inauguration, Politico reported.
“I feel very confident that Joe Biden will be elected president on Tuesday,” Pelosi told reporters, according to Politico. “We want to have as clean a slate as possible going into January.”
For his part, President Donald Trump told podcaster Jon Taffer: “We’re going to do a very big package as soon as the election is over. Right after the election we’re going to get it one way or the other, it will happen.” The $68,000 question is whether that would still hold true with a Trump loss – or victory.
The Control of the U.S. Senate Is Up in the Air
Here’s the bottom line. Pelosi is far more likely to get her wish (a $2.2 trillion stimulus package by last offer) if the U.S. Senate falls out of Republican hands today. According to The Guardian, seven key Senate races will probably determine that.
However, new Senators wouldn’t take office immediately, which would likely delay things. The U.S. Constitution granted funding authority to Congress, and right now Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republicans are blocking a larger stimulus relief plan that contains stimulus checks, arguing for a much smaller bill around $500 billion. That leaves the two sides pretty far apart.
If the Senate Republicans lose control, would they be likely to cut a deal in the days after? It’s hard to see because McConnell has said he expects that a deal won’t be reached until 2021.
McConnell spoke to radio host Hugh Hewitt and said he expects Congress to reach a stimulus deal “right at the beginning” of 2021.
This is what McConnell said to Hewitt, according to a transcript of Hewitt’s show:
We probably need to do another package, certainly more modest than the $3 trillion dollar Nancy Pelosi package. I think that’ll be something we’ll need to do right at the beginning of the year. We could target it 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.