Lawmakers are back in Washington, D.C. for an emergency hearing about the U.S. Postal Service's possible tampering with the 2020 presidential election. However, many Americans are still waiting on those lawmakers to pass another stimulus check and there is a chance they will tackle that as well. Whether or not they can actually reach a deal this time is another question.
Congress has called a hearing to question new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy about his drastic changes to the USPS, and whether or not he intended for them to alter the course of the election. DeJoy is set to testify before a Senate committee on Friday and the House Oversight Committee next week. To do this, the legislature is returning early from a scheduled recess, and many Americans were furious that they took that break in the first place without passing a stimulus bill first. According to a report by Forbes, this could be a chance for them to do something about that once and for all.
It is not clear how much Congress could really achieve on the stimulus check front without the entire Senate returning from its recess as well. The United States Senate is currently on a nearly month-long recess from Aug. 10 through Labor Day, set to return on Sept. 7. To pass a full stimulus bill, both legislatures would need to return to formally agree upon the plan.
In the meantime, Congress can use this time to plan for compromises, and work with the Trump administration, which has had a lot of input on the stimulus package. On Sunday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows appeared on CNN to encourage lawmakers to work together for this process.
"Let's go ahead and get a stimulus check out to Americans. Let's make sure that small businesses are protected with an extended [Payroll Protection] Program and put the postal funding in there. We'll pass it tomorrow. The president will sign it," he said.
It is not clear if Meadows himself is back in the office yet. The chief of staff left the capital on Tuesday, Aug. 11, with some reports claiming he would be out for as long as 12 days. His media appearances over the weekend may not have meant that he was back at work.
Either way, Democrats can do more for the stimulus effort now that they are back in Washington, but it is not clear how much. The negotiations are still stalled over the Senate's insistence on a $1 trillion price limit, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Politico this week that she is prepared to go as low as $1.5 trillion to compromise. However, to get there she will insist that Republicans concede on points like enhanced unemployment benefits.