Why a Second Stimulus Check Is Unlikely Until at Least September

Eldis Sula
August 13, 2020 - 4:30 pm

    The days of summer are winding down, but a second stimulus check may still be weeks away.

    The Senate departed Washington on Thursday for an August recess, with talks surrounding another major stimulus package stalled, reports The Hill.

    The Senate remained in session this week, which should have been the first of its recess, for daily hour-and-a-half negotiation in last-minute efforts to try to come to agreement on a new bill.

    “We will have our regular pro forma meetings through the end of the state work period. If the Speaker of the House and the minority leader of the Senate decide to finally let another package move forward … it would take bipartisan consent to meet for legislative business sooner than scheduled,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R.-Ky., upon wrapping the chamber’s session.

    The Senate is scheduled to reconvene on Sept. 8. The House of Representatives, which already commenced its recess, isn’t scheduled back until Sept. 14.

    If White House officials and Democrats are able to reach an agreement before the scheduled return, Senators will receive at least 24 hours notice to return to DC for a vote.

    Currently, House Democrats and White House officials are unable to reach middle ground on a deal, with Democrats willing to come down to $2 trillion from their original $3 trillion proposal, and the White House refusing to come up above its desired $1 trillion price point.

    On Saturday, President Donald Trump signed executive orders that included an extension of federal unemployment benefits, but at a new rate of $400 per week, $100 of which would be covered by state governments.

    However, there are still questions surrounding the orders, with experts unsure if the president has the authority to authorize federal spending, usually reserved for Congress, and how and when new benefits could be enacted, with some states having said that they would not be able to cover the specified amount.

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