Second Stimulus Check: Senate Republicans Hint They're Open to Cutting Relief Deal With Joe Biden

A deadlock may still remain in stimulus relief bill negotiations between the Trump administration and top Democrats, but there is renewed hope that progress could be made following the November election. As progress on additional aid remains stalled on Capitol Hill, numerous lawmakers have stated that further legislation is not likely to be approved until after the November vote, and Senate Republicans are now signaling a willingness to work with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden should he be elected to office.

With the caveat that they maintain their backing of current President Donald Trump, a number of GOP senators have come forward to state that there is room to reach a deal on another package under a Biden administration if Republicans still hold the Senate after the election. Sen. Lindsey Graham, according to The Hill, said he "would try to help" Biden cut legislative deals, with Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa stating that there would be room for agreement particularly on areas like energy, agriculture, and trade. He said that he would "imagine that Biden will pursue a U.K. free trade agreement, maybe some other free trade agreements" and that "if he's for TPA [trade promotion authority] we could surely work together on that."

Sen. John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, meanwhile, explained that there is typically a honeymoon period for a new administration and that "there would be opportunities" for a divided government to force compromise. He said that a divided government "forces people to come together and some of the best and biggest accomplishments in our history have been accomplished during a time of divided government."

Biden, who continues to lead Trump in recent polls by an average of 6.2 percentage points, has himself suggested that he would not only be willing to, but able to work with the Senate and break years of gridlock that have prevented the ability to move major pieces of legislation through the chamber. Speaking with Today, Biden had said that if he were elected and Trump were voted out of office, "I think you're going to see the world change." He added that he thought he would be able to work with "at least some" Republicans. The presidential nominee left the Senate in 2009 to be former President Barack Obama's vice president, though he has maintained deep ties with several members of the Republican caucus, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and has continued to speak on how his knowledge of the Senate would be an advantage.

Although it remains unclear exactly what a stimulus relief deal could look like under a Biden presidency, though reports earlier this month suggested that he was already laying the groundwork for a trillion-dollar stimulus bill. Reports have also suggested that Biden supports an additional round of stimulus checks, something that has already gained bipartisan support but has been held up amid the negotiation deadlock.