Part of the U.S. Congress is back in session this week, and there are two key dates to keep in mind as the stimulus check negotiations resume: Sept. 8 and Sept. 14. On Tuesday, Sept. 8, the United States Senate returns from a month-long recess, making a formal vote possible again. On Monday, Sept. 14, the House of Representatives resumes its session as well.
Americans have been furious at the U.S. government for the last month, not just because the next stimulus bill hasn't been passed, but because both the Senate and the House took their month-long recesses without reaching a resolution. The Senate left Washington on Aug. 10, not to return until after Labor Day. The House took its recess as well, though it did return to Washington, D.C. for an emergency hearing on the U.S. Postal Service. To some Americans desperate for coronavirus aid, this was even more insulting, since their need was not enough to halt a recess.
Senate Republicans have been trying for months to deliver more COVID-19 relief to American families. Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer have blocked us at every turn. Every action has suggested they simply do not want families to get any more bipartisan help before the election. pic.twitter.com/nEPUDXBzIt— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) September 8, 2020
Over the last month, stimulus negotiations have continued to some extent, though the recesses undoubtedly slowed them down. Both sides have been negotiation with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, on behalf of President Donald Trump. While the White House gets some input on the bill, the two legislatures are tasked with writing it, agreeing to it and passing it.
The Senate apparently intends to use its one-week head start on the House to make a bid for the stimulus package itself. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a public statement saying that he intended to introduce a new, smaller stimulus proposal, and call a vote on it as early as this week. He blamed Democrats for all the delays thus far, and called on them to pass his new bill quickly when they return.
Nailed it and he thanks givin people 200 $ will help that's 800 total a month now my rent is 1160 plus insurance car payment light bill phone bill and food how the hell can anyone live on that bs the Republican tried to pass as help and he makes over 2k a week yet 600 to much— Jdurgin (@Jdurgin7) September 8, 2020
Many critics called McConnell a hypocrite for this strategy. The Kentucky senator had plenty to do with the delays in the second stimulus package — back in May, the House passed the HEROES Act, but rather than negotiating it McConnell ignored it until July, when he proposed his counter-offer.
The coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic recession have left millions of Americans unemployed and businesses sunk. A stimulus bill was meant to prevent crises like mass evictions, homelessness, food insecurity and of course address public health concerns. Many Americans facing these threats now are frustrated with negotiations and simply want something to be passed, rather than another month of nothing.