The U.S. Congress reconvened this week with three new stimulus check proposals, yet the negotiations still started slow. According to a CNET report, lawmakers are still hoping to get a bill finished by this weekend, but so far, there is not much reason to be so optimistic. With the coronavirus pandemic worsening all over the country, Americans need aid now more than ever.
Three new stimulus proposals were put on the table when Congress returned to Washington, D.C. this week, including one bipartisan effort that was deemed the most hopeful to start. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was quick to dismiss that one on Tuesday, spelling bad news for the others. Meanwhile, McConnell introduced his own new "skinny bill" with $500 billion in relief, which has already failed to pass twice in the last six months. Finally, Democrats brought the third proposal, but details about it have not yet been made public.
Lawmakers on both ends of the political spectrum mourned most for the bipartisan "framework" of a plan that McConnel shut down — a $908 billion proposal created by both senators and House representatives, including Democrats and Republicans from both legislatures. "While it may not be a perfect plan, it's a good one -- and much better than nothing at all, which is the worst possible outcome," tweeted Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin.
McConnell shot the bill down almost immediately, though he tried to shift the blame to President Donald Trump. According to a CNBC report, McConnell told reporters that he wasn't sure Trump would sign the bill, and "we just don't have time to waste time."
Trump has supported just about every form of economic stimulus presented to him; however, even affixing his name to the first round of stimulus checks as if they came from him personally. Throughout the summer, Trump's team gradually agreed to larger and larger stimulus bills, while McConnell and Senate Republicans refused to go above $1 trillion no matter what.
The hopes of a stimulus check by the end of 2020 hang on the even more urgent hope of Congress passing a spending budget first. The legislatures have until Dec. 11 to agree on a spending bill, or else they face a government shut-down. McConnell intimated to reporters that he would prefer any coronavirus relief needed to go into that budget itself so that the negotiations could become more muddled and complicated than ever.