While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a problem to Americans, Congress has yet to pass another stimulus bill. Over the past several months, Democrats and Republicans have been trying to come to an agreement without success. Now that the government is in a lame duck period since former Vice President Joe Biden was projected to win the presidential election against the incumbent President Donald Trump, it seems as though it is even more unlikely that another stimulus package will be enacted in the near future as Congress is turning its focus towards a government spending negotiation that must be passed before Dec. 11. According to CNN, several lawmakers even weighed in on the topic of a second stimulus package, but the chances of one actually being enacted before the end of the year are quite slim.
"I am kind of discouraged frankly right now. I was encouraged when I saw ... Vice President Biden tell Schumer and Pelosi he would like to see a package done. So far there doesn't seem to be any interest on the Democratic side," Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, said on Tuesday. "Just as important as what the topline is what the content is, so that is why it is hard to say what the appropriate topline number is, but it does need to be focused and there is still a lot of people hurting and a lot of questions about logistics of the vaccine, which we are going to need continued support from Congress." Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have voiced their concerns over the lack of focus on enacting another stimulus package.
"The men and women throughout our country -- they're suffering because of Covid and we're not doing a damn thing to help them," Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, said, with CNN noting that he got visibly angry as he gave his remarks. "That's wrong." Congress has been in the midst of negotiations for months now. One of the main points of contention between the two sides ties back to the total amount of the package. While Democrats want a package that would be in the $2 trillion range, Republicans have said that they are not willing to spend much more than $1 trillion.
On Monday, president-elect Biden urged Congress to take action as it concerns another stimulus package. He even encouraged lawmakers to look into a relief package similar to the HEROES Act, a stimulus package that would cost roughly $3 trillion. The bill passed in the Democrat-led House in May but has made no further headway. Biden said specifically, "Congress should come together and pass a Covid relief package like the Heroes Act." As of right now, it's unclear whether Congress will actually be able to come together on another relief package.