More conflicting messages are coming out of President Trump’s administration and members of his party as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a group of first responders that he believed a deal on coronavirus relief would not get done until after the election, according to Fox-8.
A delay that long could mean people would have to wait for checks until the new year, according to projections from CNET.
The road to a coronavirus relief bill has been rocky, with each side inching closer to a compromise over a relief bill’s price tag. Trump recently blew up negotiations by announcing on Twitter that Americans would have to wait until after the November 3 election for negotiations to continue; then he seemed to reverse course and offered Democrats a more piecemeal approach to relief.
The latest news is that the Trump administration is attempting to craft a $1.8 trillion bill, according to The Washington Post.
McConnell Tells a Crowd That a Stimulus Package May Have to Wait Until November
“I’d like to see us rise above that, like we did back in March and April, but I think that’s unlikely in the next three weeks,” McConnell said while speaking to a group of first responders in Shepherdsville, Kentucky on Friday, according to local news station FOX-8.
McConnell told the first responders, FOX-8 reported, that he has spoken with Trump nearly every day, but was staying away in accordance with the Senate’s safety protocols. He also said that he believed the delay in negotiations was being caused by politics and people seeking a “political advantage.”
McConnell has previously said that the election may make timing tricky on getting a deal done. The Washington Post reported that McConnell said, “We’re gonna tackle this again. The timing is uncertain based on the proximity to the election.”
A Delay Until After the Election Could Mean No Checks Until 2021
If no deal is struck until after the election, here’s when you can expect to receive a check, according to CNET:
If a deal passes both chambers by November 30 and the president were to sign it on December 1, CNET is projecting that the first checks would be direct-deposited during the week of December 14 and paper checks would be sent out the week of December 21.
If a deal passes both chambers by December 8 and the president were to sign it on December 9, CNET is projecting that the first checks would be direct-deposited during the week of December 21 and paper checks would be sent out the week of January 4.
If a deal passes both chambers by February 2 and the president were to sign it on February 3, CNET is projecting that the first checks would be direct-deposited during the week of February 15 and paper checks would be sent out the week of February 15.
A delay of checks into the new year could mean evictions for renters if the eviction moratorium is not extended beyond December 31 and it could also mean more small businesses permanently shuttering their doors and more large-scale employers, such as airlines and Disney, will announce layoffs.
The Last Few Weeks of Stimulus Bill Negotiations Have Been Especially Volatile
Just days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had indicated in a letter to Democratic colleagues that she and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — both of whom make up the principal negotiators on a new coronavirus relief package — Trump suddenly announced via Twitter that no stimulus package negotiations would take place until after the election, which sent the stock market tumbling.
According to The Hill, shortly after Trump made his announcement, all three indicators of the stock market plummeted. At closing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost a loss of 1.3%, while the S&P 500 lost 1.4% and Nasdaq fell by 1.6%.
Trump reversed course on October 6, tweeting, “If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy? @MarkMeadows @senatemajldr @kevinomccarthy @SpeakerPelosi @SenSchumer.”
A new proposal from Steven Mnuchin offers to bridge a spending gap that has plagued negotiations for months. Democrats passed the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act and Republicans passed the $1.3 trillion HEALS Act later in the same month. Since then, Republicans moved their estimate up by $600 billion in a $1.6 trillion offer proposed by Republicans, while Pelosi and the Democrats recently passed an updated $2.2 trillion version of the HEROES Act.
This newest deal that The Washington Post reported the Trump administration is preparing would have a $1.8 trillion price tag, which is much closer to the $2.2 trillion bill that House Democrats passed.
According to what Alyssa Farah, a White House spokeswoman, told Reuters, the Trump administration wants to keep spending below $2 trillion but is also “eager to enact a fresh round of direct payments to American individuals as well as aid to small businesses and airlines.”
“We want to think that the speaker is operating in good faith and we can have some progress in the near future,” Farah said. Trump also indicated that negotiations were going well, tweeting on October 9, “Covid Relief Negotiations are moving along. Go Big!”