Democrats and Republicans are still negotiating the next stimulus package, debating provisions in the GOP-proposed HEALS Act. Right now, there have been mixed messages from those in the negotiations, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows representing the Trump administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer representing the Democrats.
Unfortunately, they've all been relaying some mixed messages about their progress, with the only consensus seeming to be their desire to conclude by the deadline on Friday. If an agreement does end up being reached, it would involve drafting the bill, passing it in the House and Senate, then signed into law by President Donald Trump. Mnuchin previously stated that should a deal be reached Friday, with the legislation possibly being passed as soon as the following week. That would mean Monday would be the soonest a new bill could make it to the floor of the Senate or House.
While the timeline is still up in the air, there are some aspects of the bill that have already been agreed upon. As Forbes reports, there are three crucial provisions that could provide some much-needed aid, though they're being held up with the rest of the negotiations.
One aspect that seems to be agreed upon by both parties is another one-time stimulus check of $1,200. The HEALS Act also includes $500 for each qualifying dependent but widened the qualifications from the CARES Act, which capped the age at 17.prevnext
As roughly 11 percent of the workforce is currently unemployed, there's also some bipartisan agreement that Congress should do more to help those laid off or furloughed due to the pandemic. There's just very little agreement on how to do so. GOP Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Martha McSally introduced legislation on Wednesday that would extend the now-expired federal unemployment benefit supplement through the end of 2020. McConnell has also signaled he'd work with Democrats to extend the benefits, so long as Trump approved.prevnext
Like unemployment benefits, both parties are in agreement to help millions of people from being potentially evicted. The CARES Act moratorium expired on July 25, and Democrats have proposed a number of bills to address the matter. The House has even passed the Emergency Housing Protections and Relief Act of 2020 in late June to create a $100 billion rental assistance fund, though it did not pass the Senate.prevnext
There's still no real timeline as to when the next stimulus package will get signed into law, however Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has delayed the Senate's August recess in the meantime. "I will not be adjourning the Senate for our August recess today as has been previously scheduled. I've told Republicans senators they'll have 24-hour notice before a vote," McConnell said. "The Senate will be convening on Monday, and I will be right here in Washington. The House has already skipped town. But the Senate won't adjourn for August unless and until the Democrats demonstrate they will never let an agreement materialize."prevnext
Most of the opposition over the stimulus comes from Republicans in the House and Senate, with the latter boasting upwards of 20 lawmakers that will vote against a stimulus package regardless. Sen. Ted Cruz has been particularly vocal against the unemployment insurance, which he claims isn't motivating people to return to work.prevnext