A smaller offered $600 maximum stimulus checks, but was rebuffed by Democratic leaders because that $918 billion proposal also cut that would help prop up jobseekers until April.would be one way to keep costs below the $1 trillion cutoff that Republican lawmakers have in the past said they’d support. Last week, the White House, by way of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin,
By Monday, a group of bipartisan senators had core bill worth $748 billion, which contains the unemployment funding and other measures. The second is a $160 billion bill that carves off the two most contentious issues that could capsize an agreement, money for state, local and tribal funding on one hand, and a liability shield to protect businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits on the other.from Dec. 1 into two parts. The first is a
Neither lobe of the two-part stimulus deal contains a, and the chance of a direct payment being approved in 2020 has looked dim. Now, it seems, with the thorniest issues sloughed off, the four key Democratic and Republican negotiators are seizing the monetary wiggle room to add back the popular stimulus check, albeit at a reduced rate.
Stimulus checks aren’t cheap. The IRS said this summer that it had spent $270 billion sending out 160 million checks, and on Monday, Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican who has been involved in crafting the bipartisan stimulus proposal, forecast a cost of $300 billion if the checks were once again included for $1,200 per person. Republicans reportedly bridled at the cost.
Mnuchin’s White House proposal last week allocated $600 each inand their , a drop from $1,200 in the CARES Act for , and a raise over the $500 per qualified dependent. It isn’t yet clear if the final proposal will follow this suggestion.
The lack of stimulus checks in the bipartisan $908 billion stimulus plan has been a source of consternation in Washington this month, with some outspoken lawmakers vowing to vote against any bill that didn’t contain a direct payment for American households.
“Congress cannot go home for the Christmas holidays until we pass legislation which provides a said Monday in a statement. “This is what Democrats and Republicans did unanimously in March through the . This is what we have to do today.”to , $2,400 for couples, and a ,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent,
Sanders has been joined in particular by Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, who has worked with Sanders to create a bill for another $1,200 check.
President Donald Trump, too, has called for “more money than they’re talking about” in stimulus checks, and has continued to push for a second check in the final bill.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not say whether Trump would refuse to sign a stimulus package that didn’t include a second check, but said Tuesday that Trump “would really like to see those stimulus checks in there.”
A coronavirus aid proposal before Jan. 1 is considered emergency legislation to institute a safety netthat could leave tens of million of and . A sweeping deal like the $2 trillion , which authorized a for most Americans, is , top US leaders have implied.
“We’re not leaving here without a COVID package. It’s not gonna happen. We’re gonna stay here until we get a COVID package,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. “No matter how long it takes, we’ll be here.”
Here’s what we know about where negotiations stand right now and what could happen before the end of the year.
When could Congress realistically pass a new stimulus bill?
Here are some possible scenarios that could play out over the coming weeks and months, depending on how negotiations settle in Washington.
When could a stimulus bill or package pass?
|House votes||Senate votes||President signs|
|Dec 18||Dec 21||Dec 22|
|Dec 22||Dec 23||Dec 24|
|Feb 1, 2021 (after inauguration)||Feb 2||Feb 3|
|Feb 16 (Feb 15 is Presidents Day)||Feb 16||Feb 16|
4 things that could happen with a stimulus package now
If a stimulus bill is completed this year or before Jan. 20: With an agreement made, the current House and Senate would vote before the new Congress is seated in early January. If the outgoing president then signed the rescue bill into law, aid would likely begin to go out within weeks, with certain groups possibly receiving financial help before the end of 2020.
If negotiators agree on a stimulus deal, but it fails in either the House or Senate: In this situation, Democrats and Republicans could advance their own proposals that might pass in their majority chambers but fail (or fail to be considered) by the other. In this case, Congress might try again after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.
A smaller bill could pass now and a larger one could happen later: It’s possible that a subset of programs would get funded before Biden becomes president — for example, unemployment aid, anor even a second stimulus check, with the new Congress revisiting other programs after . As the sitting president, Trump would need to sign any bill passed before Jan. 20 into law for it to take effect.
If talks once again fall apart until after Jan. 20: If partisan differences keep a bill from passing, it’s possible they’ll restart in some capacity after Biden’s inauguration in January. Here are someif a stimulus bill hasn’t passed by the time he’s sworn in.
If a bill does pass that includes a direct payment, here’s.
The Democrats’ Heroes stimulus package still matters
On Oct. 1, the House of Representatives passedthat included a and , such as for tens of millions of Americans. The House bill, endorsed primarily by Democrats, was not expected to advance through the Republican-controlled Senate, and indeed did not.
Although it’s not law, this bill provides the talking points House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was working with prior to the bipartisan proposal and might return to next year, if another stimulus proposal picks up steam after Biden’s inauguration. This revised Heroes Act has Biden’s support and could figure into future negotiations, depending on whether Georgia’s state runoff on Jan. 5 gives Democrats control of the Senate (Republicans currently maintain a two-seat lead).
What parts do Republicans and Democrats agree on?
Proposals from both sides have included the Paycheck Protection Program for businesses, and another for individuals . Although not every benefit would make it into a smaller bill, these other relief measures are most likely to gain bipartisan support in the coming year. The two sides also agree on more financial assistance for coronavirus testing and vaccine deployment.
Here’s theso far.
For more information about stimulus checks, here’s, , and what to know about the stimulus bill proposals that could help inform a final package.