The Senate is back in session tomorrow, September 8.
The Senate is back in session tomorrow, and Americans are eagerly awaiting news of a second stimulus check. What’s the latest update on where it stands? How soon can you expect to deposit money into your bank account?
Senate Republicans have said they will be proposing a new stimulus bill as early as this week. The new, smaller relief proposal includes a $300 weekly federal boost to unemployment benefits, $258 billion for small business PPP loans, and $105 billion for schools. The total package is worth approximately $500 billion and does not include any stimulus checks.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stated that anything that comes in at less than $2.2 trillion is not likely to gain support from Democrats, according to Forbes. And as the outlet points out, the GOP skinny bill is worth just one-sixth of the Democrats’ HEROES Act proposal.
Forbes reports that the hope among Republicans is “that a Republican majority supporting the skinny bill might prompt some Democrats to accept a smaller package in the interest of expediting federal aid.” Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen.
Here’s what you need to know:
McConnell Is Skeptical Congress Can Reach an Agreement
According to Axios, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has his doubts that Congress can reach a consensus on a stimulus package before November, as the “the cooperative spirit we had in March and April has dissipated as we’ve moved closer and closer to the election.”
Many Senators, including Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), are hopeful that the impending “skinny” bill would provide a “focused, targeted” solution that the House would be willing to pass.
Other Senate Republicans, however, acknowledge that Democrats will likely not be happy with the proposal. A Senate GOP aide told Axios, “They would like to change the conversation and highlight the immediate needs in a skinny bill and force Democrats to essentially shoot it down.”
It appears that many Democrats are already poised to challenge what is outlined in the bill.
On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote a letter to Senate Democrats that stated, “Republicans may call their proposal ‘skinny,’ but it would be more appropriate to call it ‘emaciated.’ Their proposal appears to be completely inadequate and, by every measure, fails to meet the needs of the American people.”
There Is Mounting Pressure to Reach an Agreement
With the election two months away, Democrats and Republicans are under pressure to provide an economic relief package to Americans struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The House is set to return from its recess on September 14, after which point it’s possible negotiators could come to an agreement on a relief package. A bill must pass in the House and the Senate, and then be signed by President Donald Trump, in order to become law.
If the Senate votes on a stimulus bill on September 14, and the House votes on September 15, then it’s possible the president could sign the legislation on September 16, according to CNET. The outlet adds that just as he did last month, President Donald Trump could also sign more executive orders if both sides of the aisle fail to reach an agreement on a stimulus plan. CNET writes, “Trump’s current COVID-19 relief executive actions range from slowing evictions to extending unemployment benefits and pausing payroll taxes through the end of the year.”