STIMULUS CHECKS

Second stimulus check: how much Pelosi and Democrats would spend in new relief bill

Democrats are working on a new $2.4 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill that could include a second round of stimulus checks.

Second stimulus check: How much Pelosi and Democrats would spend in new relief bill?
Drew Angerer AFP

So far all attempts to pass a second coronavirus stimulus package have failed, but Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi is hopeful a bill can still be passed as her party forges ahead with a new plan that will reportedly cost $2.4 trillion.

The new Democratic bill comes in $1 trillion less than their initial $3.4 trillion proposal back in May. That bill, known as the HEROES Act, managed to pass the House but failed on the floor of the senate.

Since then a series of bills proposed by the Republicans have also gone nowhere, with Democrats complaining that their budgets fell way short of the money they believe is required to support economic recovery in the face of coronavirus pandemic.

Up to now, Republicans have been reluctant to spend anything higher than $1.3 trillion, with their latest “skinny” bill reaching just $500 billion – a bill which did not include a second round of stimulus checks.

The Democrat’s latest $2.4 trillion proposal comes after House speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House would not leave without passing a new stimulus deal before November’s elections. “We are committed to staying here until we have an agreement that meets the needs of the American people,” she told CNBC last week.

Democrat bill could include stimulus checks

According to reports, the new $2.4 trillion Democratic bill would include enhanced unemployment insurance, direct payments, Paycheck Protection Program small-business loan funding and aid to airlines, among other provisions.

While no other information was divulged regarding the direct payments, they could be similar to those passed under the CARES Act in March, which saw one-off checks worth $1,200 sent out to 60 million Americans, who also received $500 per qualifying dependent under 17.

The House could vote on this new bill as early as next week, where it will likely be passed by the Democratic-majority lower chamber. But whether it will pass at the Republican-controlled Senate will largely depend on restarted talks between Pelosi and head Republican negotiators, Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows.

After talks between the sides broke down in August, Mnuchin has said that he and Pelosi have agreed to reopen negotiations. However Pelosi will have her work cut out in getting the administration to agree to a $2.4 trillion bill considering Mnuchin said earlier this month that the administration would not be willing to approve any plan costing more than $1.5 billion.

Senate's Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearingU.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies during a Senate's Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing examining the quarterly CARES Act report to Congress, in Washington, DC, U.S., September 24, 2020.

Stimulus package: Pelosi confident about a deal

Although Pelosi is now more confident on reaching a deal with Republicans after claiming on 16 September that Preisent Trump had advised party negotiators to “go for the much higher numbers”.

"It's encouraging to see that the President is now calling on Republicans to 'go for the much higher numbers' after months of Senate GOP efforts to shortchange Americans’ needs. We look forward hearing from his negotiators that they will finally meet us halfway," she tweeted.