Second Stimulus Checks: Democrats Block $1.5 Trillion Package That Included $1,200 Checks

A $1.5 trillion package that included a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks was reportedly blocked by Democrat lawmakers. According to Fox 8, the plan was presented by a bipartisan group called the Problem Solvers Caucus, and also would have included significant funds for unemployment insurance and rental assistance. However, a House Democratic committee felt the proposal "leaves too many needs unmet."

In a statement to reporters, No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer (MD) said the proposal offered some "useful ideas, important ideas," but added that more was needed to really meet the needs of Americans during the financial fallout caused by the coronavirus. "We believe that getting to a compromise is absolutely essential," Hoyer said on Tuesday. "Getting to a compromise that does not deal with the problems, however, is not useful, because the longer you delay addressing many of the problems, the greater you weaken both the economy and the response to COVID-19."

In August, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief-of-Staff Mark Meadows were engaged in second stimulus plan negotiations with the top two Democrat leaders in the nation: Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Those negotiations broke down after the two parties were unable to reach an agreement. Schumer commented on the stalled talks, explaining that the cost of the bill was the biggest impasse. He stated that "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."

Schumer further added that just "because there are 20 Republicans who don't want to vote anything that doesn't mean the whole thing should shift in their direction." Schumer went on to say that it was important to "meet in the middle."

Pelosi added: "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." At this time, there is no word on when the second stimulus bill negotiations may resume.