CORONAVIRUS

Second stimulus check: could one be approved before the US election?

As Americans wait for a new economic aid package - relief legislation that could include a second stimulus check, a worry is that the election may hamper plans.

Second stimulus check: could one be approved before the US election?
TOM BRENNER REUTERS

The wait goes on for the United States Congress to agree another coronavirus aid package and, with it, potentially a second stimulus check - an impasse that this week led a bipartisan group of lawmakers to try to jump-start talks over the bill.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress agree that qualifying Americans should receive another direct payment, which would follow on from the stimulus checks sent out as part of the CARES Act, a $2.2tn relief bill passed in March. Furthermore, President Donald Trump has repeatedly stated his support for the measure.

Republican 'skinny' proposal defeated

Every Senate Democrat just voted against hundreds of billions of dollars of Covid-19 relief,” Mitch McConnell tweeted after the recent Republican proposal - which did not, however, include a second stimulus check. “They blocked money for schools, testing, vaccines, unemployment insurance, and the Paycheck Protection Program. Their goal is clear: No help for American families before the election.”

Sin titulo(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 17, 2020 Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks during a news conference to announce that the Senate is considering police reform legislation, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

Delay October recess

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this week said Democrats were open to delaying an October recess to get a deal with Republicans on a new coronavirus aid bill, as a $1.5 trillion proposal unveiled by moderates was attacked by conservatives and liberals.

"We are committed to staying here until we have an agreement," Pelosi, a Democrat, said in a CNBC interview, adding that there were disagreements with Republicans on how to "crush the virus" that has now killed more than 194,000 people in the United States.

us-politics-pelosi-BRIEFINGUS Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, holds her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on September 18, 2020. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP)

The House was scheduled to recess no later than 2 October so members can campaign at home for re-election on 3 November. But, echoing Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said lawmakers will be on indefinite standby, with 24 hours’ notice of any vote on a coronavirus aid bill if a deal is reached.