Second Stimulus Check: What Happens If Congress Doesn't Pass New Package by August 7?

The next stimulus package hasn't yet even reached the negotiation stage among Democrats and Republicans as the GOP's proposal has been delayed amid further discussions with the Trump administration. With the looming threat of a package not being passed before Congress enters another recess, what will happen if a proposal doesn't pass both the House and Senate by Friday, Aug. 7?

It has long been believed that Aug. 7 was among the most important dates for this next package, which could potentially be the last coronavirus aid amid the pandemic. This date marks the final day that congressional leaders will be on Capitol Hill, meaning that this would be the final day that a package could be passed before lawmakers begin a recess. Currently, the House of Representatives has scheduled in-person votes to end on July 31 before entering a recess, according to Forbes. Although the GOP's proposal was initially meant to be unveiled Thursday, a delay now means that it will not be revealed until "early next week." This will give lawmakers less than two weeks to negotiate details of the package, with topics such as an extension of the $600 enhanced unemployment benefit already proving controversial. Once negotiations conclude, the bill would then have to pass both the House and the Senate, meaning that this is a very tight timeline for multiple things to be completed.

Should this deadline be missed, there will be a 32-day period in which negotiations would not be taking place. Their recess beginning on Saturday, Aug. 8, congressional leaders will not return to Capitol Hill until Tuesday, Sept. 8, during which times discussions would likely start again.

This means that if legislation is not passed by Aug. 7, President Donald Trump will not have a proposal to sign into law, which would likely mean that the American people would have to wait at least a month longer for further aid. With unemployment rates climbing – 1.4 million people applied for unemployment benefits in the week ended July 18 – and coronavirus cases surging across the country, forcing some cities and states to revert in their reopening plans, many Americans are in dire need of help. Without another relief package, there will not be another round of stimulus checks, which many lawmakers have said will help boost the hurting economy, nor will there be an extension to the current unemployment benefits, which some have argued are a lifeline for unemployed Americans.