CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Second stimulus check: will there be a new payment in November?

With the latest deadline missed to break the deadlock on a second round of stimulus all sides are still optimistic a deal will be reached just not when.

Second stimulus check: will there be a new payment in November?
HANNAH MCKAY REUTERS

After a week where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tried to bridge the $300 billion gap remaining between their two positions and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell failed to get a “skinny” bill passed hope for getting a second stimulus check through before the 3 November election is fading.

Ms. Pelosi, who had set a deadline of Friday for a deal to be reached to get the legislation passed before the election, told Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union that “We are ready. We’re waiting for a final yes [from the White House].” She said it was a matter of the White House agreeing to language on coronavirus testing expecting Mr. Mnuchin to respond on Monday to a list of concerns that Democrats sent to the White House on Friday.

Chief of staff Mark Meadows who was also on State of the Union Sunday morning accused Ms. Pelosi of moving the goalposts. Ms. Pelosi countered that it is the White House who is moving the goalposts.

Where do the Republicans stand?

Mr. Meadows and President Trump have said that they can get Republican Senators to support any deal that they reach with the House Democrats but earlier in the week Mr. McConnell dampened that idea when he made it known that he had advised the White House against negotiating a stimulus package with Ms. Pelosi that she was negotiating in bad faith.

Mr. McConnell has said that he would put any deal to a vote in the Senate but it is unlikely that he would have the votes for it to pass. Senate Republicans have expressed reluctance to pass the amount of spending that is in either the legislation passed in the Democrat-led House earlier this month worth $2.2 trillion or the $1.9 trillion that the White House is currently offering.

More pressing issues

Mr. McConnell did put two much smaller packages to the floor for a vote that had no hope of being passed with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calling them “show votes.” Mr. McConnell’s main priority is confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court with the vote taking place on Monday, 26 October.

Pelosi is optimistic a stimulus bill can be passed

Ms. Pelosi expressed optimism that some deal would be reached and she would be willing to negotiate even after the election and wouldn’t wait for the new Congress to be seated even if the Democrats won and took control of Senate and White House. This scenario looks plausible as early election results are pointing to more Democrat voters casting ballots early compared to Republican voters and candidate Joe Biden having more routes to the White House than Trump on the electoral map.

With the election looming just over a week away there just might not be enough time to get the legislation through both houses of Congress in time for a stimulus check to be out the door before the end of November.