Second Stimulus Package: Will It Be Split Into Smaller Bills?

Lawmakers are still trying to agree on a second stimulus package. Amidst ongoing, failing negotiations, Republicans announced that they were putting together a pared-down proposal that would address several economic relief programs. Since the Republicans are focusing on a smaller plan, could the second stimulus package be split into smaller bills?

The White House and Congress agreed to their historic $2 trillion stimulus package, the CARES Act, back in March. But, since the coronavirus pandemic has been an ongoing issue, many are wondering when another stimulus package could be on the way. In terms of coronavirus-related legislation, the House did recently pass a bill that would ban changes to the United States Postal Service that could have affected Americans' ability to vote by mail-in ballot for the upcoming presidential election, as CNET noted. Additionally, their legislation included $25 billion in funding for the USPS, an amount that was to be included in the Democrats' HEROES Act. The HEROES Act passed in the House in May but has made no further headway in Congress.

Senate Republicans have also recently announced their plans for a "skinny" stimulus package that would incorporate some of the economic relief ideas that lawmakers have been discussing as of late. Their pared-down legislation would include $10 billion in funding to address the USPS' budget crisis. It would also offer $300 in additional unemployment benefits per week, a figure that President Donald Trump proposed in the executive orders that he issued at the beginning of August. While their proposal would address these two topics, there are two specific issues that their plan does not address — student loan forbearance and stimulus checks. Their plan would not include student loan forbearance, which Trump called for in his executive orders, nor would it provide for additional stimulus checks to be sent out to eligible Americans. Congress would have to agree to a loftier stimulus proposal for Americans to receive financial aid. As of right now, it's unclear when and if Congress will pass the Republicans' "skinny" stimulus proposal.

Lawmakers believe that they will be able to pass a stimulus package before Labor Day, despite the many disagreements between Republicans and Democrats concerning the matter. On Saturday, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows appeared on CNN and spoke on the topic of stimulus checks, an issue which was not touched upon in Republicans' pared-down proposal. He said, "Let's go ahead and get a stimulus check out to Americans. Let's make sure that small businesses are protected..and put the postal funding in there. We'll pass it tomorrow. The president will sign it."