House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have been hard at work negotiating a second stimulus checks bill lately. However, many wonder if the potential bill would be approved by the Senate. The short answer here is: probably not.
Pelosi is working with Mnuchin — who represents the White House in the negotiations — to get the bill to a price tag that both sides of the table are comfortable with. While the Trump administration likely wants to keep the bill under $2 trillion, Pelosi and other Democrat leaders want to keep it at that or above. This is where things start to get tricky, because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has been firm in wanting to keep a second bill as cheap as possible. So much so, that he wrote his own bill, a $500 billion "skinny" and "targeted" proposal that he and some of his colleagues felt would meet the direst needs.
Additionally, the Washington Post reported this week that McConnell told some of his fellow GOP lawmakers that he has firmly asked the White House to not make any stimulus deals before Election Day, which is only two weeks away. This indicates that the Senate and the Trump administration do not necessarily see eye to eye on what the next bill should be. The divide is most evident in the fact that a bill proposed by the White House would have increased the amount of stimulus money sent to Americans, but McConnell's bill doesn't include any stimulus payments for citizens.
“[McConnell] has been absent, a total non-participant, and now is actually being a critical speed bump in the last days as Speaker Pelosi is trying hard to work out a robust package of relief,” Sen. Chris Coons says about the stimulus negotiations. https://t.co/gdVJnkfuM8 pic.twitter.com/3MvxOZfS8K— CNN (@CNN) October 21, 2020
McConnell has faced a lot of criticism over his bill, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently telling CNN's Anderson Cooper, "He's trying to show that they are doing something, and they can't do anything, so they come up with stunts which everyone sees through." Senator Elizabeth Warren also spoke out against McConnell's bill, blasting him for "playing politics" and not "helping people." She added, "He wants to leave behind every single person in this country who is worried about COVID-19."
Warren went on to say, "No help for our hospitals. Not enough for tracing. Not enough for testing. Not enough for our doctors or our nurses. Just leave them behind...There are so many left behind in McConnell's bill." She concluded her statement by saying "That's why the Democrats will be voting 'No' today."