Second Stimulus Check Deadlock Leaves Americans in Need Feeling Hopeless: 'We Are Stuck'

It's been six months since Congress passed the CARES Act, which entitled eligible Americans with a one-time check worth $1,200 to help them deal with the coronavirus pandemic. But, as the pandemic has only continued to affect Americans over the past several months, many are wondering when more aid could be on the way from the government. Since Congress has been at an impasse as far as a second stimulus package is concerned, many Americans are struggling without any kind of financial aid from the government amidst this difficult time in the nation's history.

According to CNBC, the CARES Act helped keep many Americans afloat. Not only did it provide eligible Americans with stimulus checks, but it also provided for an array of economic relief programs. The $2 trillion package provided billions in extra food aid, enhanced unemployment benefits, and loans to small businesses. As a result of those programs, Americans set an all-time savings high in April. Additionally, due to the provisions in the CARES Act, poverty decreased slightly around that time in comparison to 2019. The Federal Reserve even reported on Friday that “extraordinary governmental measures in response to the pandemic seemed to have eased families’ financial strain.” They added, “A substantial number of families received one or more forms of financial assistance. The effects of these programs were apparent in people’s overall financial well-being and ability to cover expenses.”

However, since Congress has been unable to come to an agreement on a second stimulus package, economists have expressed their concerns for this impasse's effect on the economy and, particularly, the lives of everyday Americans. Illinois resident Ronald Starr told CNBC's Make It via email that he is worried about the fact that Congress has been unable to agree on another stimulus package. “With so many millions about to face homelessness possibly, how is this not on the top of the media’s headline list,” Starr, 51, said. “How can Congress take recess? And, speaking of Congress, how is it that there isn’t even a dialogue or any discussion going on with this topic?” Starr also added, “The work just isn’t there. We are stuck, with little to no options and no help on the horizon.”

Most recently, Republicans unveiled their latest, skinny stimulus proposal. The proposal had a price point of around $500 billion, a far cry from the amount that Democrats have been seeking. In response to this plan, the Democrats, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized this plan for not sufficiently addressing the needs of Americans amidst this health crisis. In a joint statement, the pair even said that the plan was "headed nowhere."