Will there be a second COVID-19 stimulus relief plan? The chances for it diminished on October 10, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected a $1.8 trillion counter offer from the White House, and Senate Republicans sharply criticized the proposal.
Millions of Americans could use a second COVID-19 stimulus check, which is just one of the provisions being held up by the failure of Republicans and Democrats to reach agreement on an overall plan. Many other things are included in the plan, such as small business grants, extended unemployment checks, and aid to state and local governments.
President Donald Trump tweeted this on Oct. 7: “If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?” Pelosi didn’t embrace that approach either. The White House then offered on October 9 to come up to $1.8 trillion for the overall cost of a second stimulus relief plan. That’s the plan she shot down on October 10. Senate Republicans think it’s too high, Pelosi thinks it’s too low, and, thus, negotiations remain stalled.
It’s looking increasingly unlikely that both sides will reach an agreement before the election. It’s possible they don’t want to hand each other a perceived “victory” before people head to the ballot box.
Here’s what you need to know:
Pelosi Called the New White House Proposal ‘Two Steps Back’ & Called on a Plan to ‘Crush the Virus’
Republicans nearly doubled the amount they originally proposed, but Pelosi’s rejection was clear. It’s a no go to Democrats.
“This proposal amounted to one step forward, two steps back,” Pelosi said on October 10, according to CNBC.
“When the President talks about wanting a bigger relief package, his proposal appears to mean that he wants more money at his discretion to grant or withhold, rather than agreeing on language prescribing how we honor our workers, crush the virus and put money in the pockets of workers,” Pelosi said, adding, “Despite these unaddressed concerns, I remain hopeful that yesterday’s developments will move us closer to an agreement on a relief package that addresses the health and economic crisis facing America’s families.”
According to CNN, Pelosi also wrote: “At this point, we still have disagreement on many priorities, and Democrats are awaiting language from the Administration on several provisions as the negotiations on the overall funding amount continue.”
The administration has said it doesn’t want a proposal with a 2 in it, but Democrats are seeking a higher amount. With the election looming, this all becomes a political calculus as well.
Democrats’ previously approved a $2.2 trillion plan.
The White House Opposes a Plan With a ‘2’ But Senate Republicans Are Upset With the $1.8 Trillion Proposal Too
The White House has consistently said it won’t support a plan with a 2 in it. Initially, Republicans wanted an amount close to $1 trillion. Then, they came up to $1.5 trillion and finally to $1.8 trillion.
However, it’s not only Pelosi who doesn’t like it. According to CNN, Senate Republicans think the $1.8 trillion amount is too high. Thus, according to CNN, the plan has “virtually no chance of passing the GOP-controlled Senate.”
The president previously tweeted, “The House & Senate should IMMEDIATELY Approve 25 Billion Dollars for Airline Payroll Support, & 135 Billion Dollars for Paycheck Protection Program for Small Business. Both of these will be fully paid for with unused funds from the Cares Act. Have this money. I will sign now!” But he can’t get it done on his own because Congress has funding authority under the U.S. Constitution.
“If it starts with a 2, it’s going to be a real problem,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Reuters on September 30.
Trump has made a second stimulus plan a focus on Twitter. On October 3, Trump wrote, “OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!” The president can’t get stimulus checks done on his own because the Constitution gave funding authorities to Congress.
According to CNBC, September’s job report was weak, driving need for another stimulus package.
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