As America heads into the Fourth of July weekend, the topic of their socially distanced festivities will likely be the possibility of a second stimulus check, something that likely won’t be far from the minds of lawmakers. Currently, however, the pause button has been hit on such discussions on Capitol Hill as Congress begins its summer recess. So how long, exactly, does this recess last, and when can Americans expect negotiations to resume?
According to Forbes, the summer recess for members of both the House and the Senate begins on Friday, July 3. Members of Congress will not reconvene until Monday, July 20, meaning that the recess will last approximately two weeks. That latter date is said to be among the key dates to consider when speaking of further economic relief, as it is when Congress will begin discussions on a new package. During this period of time, Americans can likely expect "a flurry of activity, additional proposals, and many headlines on negotiating stances."
In an address on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that during this time, and before Congress again goes on recess on Aug. 7, lawmakers will "take a snapshot of where we are, both on the healthy front and the economic recovery front, and decide at that point what needs to be done further." He added that the focus of any new bill would be "kids, jobs and health care" as well as liability protections for "everybody who interacted with this pandemic." He also stated his hopes that such a bill would be approved in July.
There remain differing opinions on whether or not a second round of direct payments to the American people is necessary, and Congress will take into consideration a number of factors before coming to a decision. While June's jobs report was said to be among the major players in coming to a decision, the fact that the report showed signs of hope does not necessarily dash hope for further stimulus checks. It is also believed that Congress will look at the growing number of coronavirus cases occurring across the country, something that initially prompted the first relief bill, the CARES Act, which also included stimulus checks.
Should another relief package be passed, it will most likely be approved during this time period. When Congress goes on recess on Aug. 7, it will not return to work until Sept. 7, meaning that if a plan is not approved, Americans would have to wait until mid-September at the earliest for much needed economic relief, putting greater urgency on lawmakers to come to a decision sooner rather than later.