The chances of a second stimulus check could be getting closer, as the House of Representatives has passed a Democratic-led $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. According to CNBC, the chamber approved the legislation in a 214-207 vote. Notably, the news outlet also reports that 18 Democrats voted against the measure.
Next, the bill will go to the Republican-controlled Senate, where its chances of passing are slim, as GOP leaders have already refused to vote on the HEROES Act. That bill passed the House in May, but Republican leaders took issue with its $3 trillion price tag. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer were previously engaged in coronavirus relief bill talks with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, both representatives of the Trump administration. The two sides were unable to agree on the new bill.
Pelosi has said that the main issue is that Democrats were willing to decrease their $3 trillion budget by $1 trillion, but that Republicans would not increase their limit by the same amount, which would have the two parties meeting in the middle. "When you're having an opportunity like this to do something for the American people, it's an opportunity, but we can't have it be a missed opportunity to do that by settling for something so low, so beneath meeting the needs of the American people," she said.
Schumer added, "The House doesn't have the votes to go south of $2 trillion; the Senate Democrats can't go south of 2 trillion, so that's what compromise is all about. Because there are 20 Republicans who don't want to vote anything, that doesn't mean the whole thing should shift in their direction. You have to meet in the middle."
Mnuchin has said that he believes the two sides will reach an agreement eventually, though he has taken verbal jabs at Pelosi over getting it done. "There is a compromise if the speaker [of the House] is willing to move forward. I am somewhat concerned that she's afraid any deal would be good for the president," Mnuchin said during a September interview on CNBC's Squawk Box. He then went on to imply that he believes Pelosi's "politics" could be "getting in the way" of the negotiations. "I've told the Speaker I am available anytime to negotiation, no conditions," he added.