Stimulus Check Now Weeks Away After Senate Leaves Washington With No Deal
By Dave Basner
August 13, 2020
It's going to be a long time before any stimulus checks go out. Even though Democrats and Republicans agreed on a second stimulus check, they weren't able to come to a consensus on many other issues addressed in the latest relief package. Because of the stalemate, Senators have now gone home and they won't be returning until after Labor Day in early September, which means there will be no deal and no checks until mid-to-late September at the earliest.
As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrapped the Senate's session until September 8, he stated, "We will have our regular pro forma meetings through the end of the state work period. If the Speaker of the House and the minority leader of the Senate decide to finally let another package move forward… it would take bipartisan consent to meet for legislative business sooner than scheduled." In the unlikely chance they do somehow reach an agreement before the 8th, Senators will get at least 24 hours notice to come back to the Capitol.
Whenever a deal is made, the bill will then need to be drafted and passed in the Senate before moving on to the House, which will also have to pass it. However, they don't return from their recess until September 14th. President Trump also needs to sign off on the bill and only then can checks get sent out. That entire process would take at least a nine or ten days.
As for what the check will look like, it's expected to be $1,200 for anyone making less that $75,000 a year, or $2,400 for joint filers earning less than $150,000. Any person making more than $75K or any joint filers earning over $150K will have their check reduced by 5% of how much more they make over those amounts. Qualified Americans will also get an extra $500 for each dependent.
The back-and-forth between the parties has been going on since May, when the House passed the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which included a second check, but also had a three trillion dollar price tag. Senate Republicans shot it down, but on July 27th, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the Republicans' plan. Unfortunately, not only were Democrats against portions of it, but some Republicans were as well. Negotiations took place and there were reports a deal might be reached by the end of last week so that the bill could pass this past Monday, but obviously that hasn't happened.
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