COVID-19 Stimulus Check 2: Why the Senate Going Into Recess Today Makes It Unlikely

COVID-19 second stimulus package

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The U.S. Senate is scheduled to go into a recess after its Monday, October 26, vote on Amy Coney Barrett‘s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. What does that mean for your chances of getting a second stimulus check?

It means you’re highly unlikely to see a second round of checks approved before the November 3 presidential election. After that, it’s anyone’s guess and likely depends on the victor.

Some top Republican senators have made negative comments recently about the chances of a second stimulus relief package before the election. A second round of stimulus checks would likely be included in any such package, but Republicans and Democrats haven’t been able to agree on the overall price tag of a plan, even as they do agree conceptually that another round of direct payments to Americans would be a good idea.

Here’s what you need to know:


Senate Republican Whip John Thune Says a Relief Plan Probably Won’t Get Passed Before the Election

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GettyAn image of the economic impact payments sent out to Americans on April 29, 2020.

Senator John Thune of South Dakota is the Senate Republican whip, second in Senate leadership, so his opinion holds weight. He now says there probably isn’t enough time for senators to pass a second stimulus relief package before the presidential election on November 3.

The Senate is scheduled to leave town on Monday, October 26, after it votes on the Barrett nomination. It’s unlikely a deal would be struck in the hours before that with Republican and Democratic leaders trading blame over the weekend.

Thune did say he thinks a relief plan could pass “once the dust settles and the smoke clears from the election,” Bloomberg reported.

Thune told ABC News, “I think right now we’ve had multiple votes in the Senate on a smaller version. … The Democrats in the House obviously have a much larger version of this which can not pass in the Senate.”

He added, “We can’t get the votes for the Pelosi version.” He also expressed that it would be difficult, if not impossible, procedurally to pass a relief plan before the election even if both sides could agree. He blamed the “fog of politics.”

Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican who is the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said, speaking of a second stimulus relief plan, that he couldn’t “see it happening,” at least not before the presidential election, according to Bloomberg.

“At this point in time, Friday before the Monday we’re scheduled to leave, it’d take a colossal get-together, just a huge get-together, to put a stimulus package together, and I don’t see it happening,” said Shelby, according to the news site.


Trump & Pelosi Traded Blame

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GettyU.S. President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump said it’s Pelosi’s fault that a stimulus package hasn’t been passed, and his Treasury secretary agreed. His chief of staff also blamed Pelosi.

Pelosi blamed Trump.

“Now we’re talking and we’ll see what happens but at this moment I would say that I actually think Nancy would rather wait ’til after the election,” Trump said, according to Reuters, which added that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, “If she wants to compromise, there will be a deal.”

But Pelosi alleged on CNN’s State of the Union that Republicans “keep moving the goalposts.” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows went on the same show and accused Pelosi of doing the same.

“We have to act,” Pelosi said. “To do anything, though, that does not crush the virus is really official malfeasance. And to crush the virus we just have to follow the science: Testing, tracing, treatment, mask wearing, ventilation, separation, and the rest.”

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