After months of back-and-forth negotiations – and multiple impasses – it appears that lawmakers will reach a decision concerning a pre-election second stimulus check within the next 48 hours.
A second stimulus check could be forthcoming, with millions of Americans potentially receiving $1,200 checks ahead of the election. But a lot depends on how discussions progress between House Democrats, Senate Republicans, and the White House.
With COVID-19 health concerns and large-gathering restrictions still in effect, huge areas of the American economy remain paralyzed. That’s continuing to drag personal finances, with smaller businesses struggling to stay afloat and retain employees. Far-reaching disagreements concerning the legislation’s contents and amount have continued to delay progress, however.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have been seemingly close to a deal on multiple occasions, but a finalized agreement hasn’t yet come to fruition. Now, Speaker Pelosi has introduced a 48-hour deadline for a second stimulus package – and a second stimulus check. She and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin resumed talks today, and Pelosi said in a statement yesterday that she was “optimistic” about the prospect of a deal deriving from the discussions.
Additionally, President Trump has encouraged his team to settle on a larger aid-package figure – the legislation’s cost has proved a major obstacle thus far. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters today that the administration’s current offer has neared $1.9 trillion.
Moreover, Speaker Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, took to Twitter to provide an update on today’s dialogue. During the 53-minute conversation, Mnuchin and Pelosi “continued to narrow their differences,” Hammill wrote. Plus, Hammill said that “the Speaker has tasked committee chairs to reconcile differences with their GOP counterparts on key areas.”
In terms of a definitive timetable for a second stimulus check, Hammill seemed to strike a non-committal tone, writing: “The Speaker continues to hope that, by the end of the day Tuesday, we will have clarity on whether we will be able to pass a bill before the election. The two principals will speak again tomorrow and staff work will continue around the clock.”
On the eligibility front, the second stimulus check appears set to become available to a similar number of individuals receiving the CARES Act’s $1,200 payment. Individuals who earn less than $75,000 annually would receive $1,200 under the current framework, as would married couples pulling less than $150,000. (Yearly salaries above those amounts would bring progressively lower stimulus payments.)
Perhaps the most noteworthy difference between this second stimulus check and the CARES Act payment is the $500-per-dependent bonus. While guardians received $500 for each of their child dependents previously (in addition to the $1,200), this follow-up aid package would provide $500 for all dependents, including college students and seniors.
Sporting events, concerts, and other public gatherings are also largely shuttered, which is preventing most musicians from performing live and hamstringing companies like Live Nation, AEG, and others. As such, we’ve covered congressional negotiations since they began in earnest during the summer.
More as this develops.