CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Third stimulus check: when is the Senate voting?

House Democrats on Wednesday gave the green light to move forward along party lines on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

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Third stimulus check: when is the Senate voting?
SAUL LOEB AFP

President Biden has expressed a desire to get Republicans onboard with his American Rescue Plan, a sweeping $1.9 trillion package to rebuild the US economy, but he has also made it clear that he wants to move fast. He is also clear that any such agreement will be on his terms and major components will not be left out.

The Senate voted on Tuesday to move forward with debate on a budget outline setting the stage for a filibuster-proof passage of Biden’s relief package. On Wednesday the House followed suit and approved a budget resolution along party lines that would unlock special rules in the Senate allowing the covid-19 relief package to pass with a simple majority.

When will the Senate vote on Biden’s stimulus package?

With the budget resolutions in place the Democrats will be able to start writing up the stimulus bill as they see fit. They will continue to seek input from their Republican colleagues but they can now move forward without any GOP votes. Over the next week they will hammer out the details of what the final coronavirus relief bill will be in congressional committees.

What happened to a bipartisan deal?

On Monday 10 GOP Senators pitched a counterproposal to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House. Their roughly $600 billion proposal was less than a third of what the White House and Democrats are seeking. It also left out key features of Biden’s plan including rental assistance, an extension of the Child Tax Credit and money for states and local governments.

Democrats haven’t forgotten how negotiations with Republicans during the Obama administration dragged out with the promise of a favorable vote only for those votes not to materialize. During the negotiations for a rescue package to help the US recover from the 2008 financial crisis Republicans pushed for a smaller bill that was later deemed by economist to have been insufficient thus causing the recovery to draw out and be less effective.

When could Americans see $1400 stimulus checks sent out?

The real fight to get the stimulus out will get underway next week. The budget resolutions passed in both chambers pave the way for the committees to hammer out what the final legislation will be that will come up for a vote. The votes set spending levels that the committees can work within for the various portions of the sweeping $1.9 trillion blueprint the Biden laid out in the American Rescue Plan presented in January.

If the Republicans stand united against the proposals in the White House’s plan then Democrats will have to content members of their own party. Some from the more progressive part of the party are calling for recurring direct payments for the duration of the pandemic. While most notably Senator Joe Manchin wants the relief spending to be more targeted to those most in need.

By using budget reconciliation, the Democrats will only need the 50 votes they have in the Senate plus Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote to get the final legislation passed.