Will We Get Second COVID-19 Stimulus Package Checks?

For many Americans who have not lost jobs or own businesses, the CARES Act’s central feature passed in March – a $ 1,200-per-person payment it authorized, to offset the economic effects of the COESID-19 epidemic. As the economic recovery is slowing and the epidemic is intensifying, both sides have considerable feelings for another round of stimulus payments. During the on-off, again lengthy negotiations between the White House and congressional Democrats, with sharp disagreements over a range of issues, the two sides in those talks have embraced each other’s checks (though on the conservative Republican board in Congress Are not), with the key issue being whether an overall deal can be reached.
COVID-19 Stimulus Package Checks
COVID-19 Stimulus Package Checks

Will another check in the mail soon?
Photo: Eric Gay / AP / Shutterstock

October has been a roller coaster, however. As the talks resumed and were progressing slowly, the president abruptly terminated them on October 7, sharply criticizing Democratic efforts to provide aid for state and local governments, saying that my winning A new bill will be developed later. The same day occurred when Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell called the additional stimulus important for the short-term health of the economy. Almost immediately, Trump began to glance back, but alternately single-issue legislation and broader agreements led to additional confusion. However, he resumed negotiations between administration negotiator and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Democratic negotiator and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Slowly and painfully, Menucchin and Pelosi progressed towards each other’s positions, even as Senate Republicans (who mostly wanted little or no provocation) of Trump’s own pre-election bargaining Keenly counted about Mnuchin’s generosity at the swipe. Skinny “incentive bill that did not include a second incentive check. Now that the negotiations are in principle, mostly because no one wants to blame them for calling, the pre-election deal is more or less out of the question.

As did my colleagues Eric Levies and Adam. Raymond explained,
The IRS (which Congress put in charge of the payments) was directed to make about 159 million payments. The amount varies depending on the income and number of children in the household. For married couples earning up to $ 75,000 – or $ 150,000 – received the full check; Partial payments were available to individuals earning up to $ 99,000 or couples earning $ 198,000. Parents received an additional $ 500 for each dependent child.

Those who had already reported the direct-deposit bank to the IRS had previously received payments; Instead of a paper check, they received direct deposits. This was difficult for others, which is why some eligible people waited longer on mail – or in some cases, debit cards.

House Democrats proposed a similar second round in the so-called Heroes Act, which they passed on 13 May. The income limit and personal check amount ($ 1,200) were the same, but payments for dependent children were increased from 500 to $ 1,200, to a limit of three. So a two-parent family with three children and an income below $ 150,000 may receive a total payment of $ 6,000 ($ 2,400 for parents, $ 3,600 for dependent children).

In late September Pelosi unveiled a Democratic settlement proposal with equal pay for adults and equal income limits, but reduced the scrutiny to levels in the CARES Act for Children.

The overall HEROES Act authorized $ 3.4 trillion in new spending, about a third of which was dedicated to assisting state and local governments, which faced severe financial conditions due to declining revenues and rising demands for services. The aforementioned compromise proposal from the House Democrats (with the consent of this Senate colleagues above) proposed a $ 2.4 trillion version of the HEROES Act. Despite negotiations continuing with the White House, the House had put in place a new proposal to ensure members took home on the campaign trail.

For months Senate Republicans, who do not want to imply that they have to negotiate House Democratic proposals, largely dismissed the Hero Act as a “Liberal Wish List” or a “political messaging bill.” , Which is not intended to go anywhere. . But his criticism mostly focused on the overall $ 3 trillion-plus price tag, the provision of aid to state and local governments, and the expansion of the $ 600 federal unemployment insurance add-on by the end of the year.

More generally, many congressional Republicans and conservative opinion leaders argued for a “halt” in stimulus efforts until the $ 2.2 trillion authorized by the CAR Act was fully disbursed and the states were reintroduced to businesses. Was given the opportunity to open. They are very concerned about providing the corporation with a liability shield against coronovirus-related lawsuits and damages claims. In line with the presidential shift to demand a “reopening”, his supporters within and outside Congress have focused on easing restrictions on businesses rather than federal stimulus as the key to economic recovery, although more recently Coronovirus spikes may begin to alter that dynamic.

Some congressional Republicans would obviously prefer to avoid an expensive second stimulus check, but the Trump administration generally indicated their interest in another round of checks, with GOP leaders pushing the overall price tag of a future stimulus bill Emphasis on keeping. In early May, Mitch McConnell began promoting the idea of ​​a $ 1 trillion “cap” on any future stimulus bill. The idea may be arbitrary, but it seems that there are people trapped among Republicans who are not at all opposed to another stimulus bill.

After publicly and privately providing a second stimulus check to a group of low-income families, Republicans announced their own HEALS Act that included a second round of similarly sized stimulus checks and with the same eligibility as CARES The act was investigated.

But recently, as negotiations between the HEALS and HEROES Act Grounds for a settlement to a standstill, Senate Republicans began developing a new “skinny” stimulus proposal aimed at keeping fiscal hawkers in line Completely omits a second checkin check. It was unveiled on 8 September with an advertised price tag of only $ 300 billion, although it was accomplished by returning $ 350 billion in funds without the Negligent Car Act. The bill was blocked by Senate Democrats, but it garnered almost universal support from Senate Republicans, and gave a campaign trail credential to the more vulnerable members of their convention. A second “diluted” bill without scrutiny was brought to the Senate floor on October 21, with exactly the same result.

Trump and his staff were less enthusiastic in stimulus checks than Trumpian favorites, such as payroll tax cuts, but the president himself expressed some sense that, politically, regular people need to cut any new stimulus deals . In mid-May the President himself said “I think we are going to help the people,” and “getting some money for them.”

In the wake of the surprisingly strong May jobs report, Trump briefly talked about the economy recovering “like a rocketship,” and another spirited job report in June’s Batuk Republican hopes that little or no immediate stimulus is necessary Will happen. But the more recent spike in COVID-19 cases was concentrated in states that reopened businesses quickly, and in many states trade restrictions and the withdrawal of domestic orders to stay have tarnished economic optimism, even That the President is also giving chances of reunification. Fresh incentives for individuals to consider identifying with calls for additional relief.

On June 22, Trump answered a question about a second stimulus investigation, which is clearly unclear, and then Washington Post It was suggested that the White House was divided on the subject.

As noted above, all back-to-inside and outside the White House have given way to the HEALS Act which includes a second incentive check similar to the first. But Congressional Republicans quickly shied away from it because the White House remained silent.

In accordance with the provisions of the CARES Act that expired in August, Trump issued orders to provide temporary funds for unemployment insurance and a new tenant eviction moratorium, promoting his unpopular pet idea of ​​payroll tax deferral.

But as Senate Republicans drafted their first “Skinny Stimulus” proposal to roll back unused CARES Act debt funds, Trump casually suggested in a White House press talk that Congress would give him some of those same unused funds Authorizes use so that a second incentive check can be issued. . This idea did not seem at all.

And in mid-September, Trump reacted favorably to a bipartisan proposal from the Centrist House Problem Solvers Caucus, which cost $ 1.5 trillion for a shorter period of time, and included the same incentive check provisions as the CARES Act. It seems that negotiations between Pelosi and Mnuchin were returning on track, and the Treasury Secretary soon provided a “counter-offer” that was allegedly based on the problem solverus caucus, encouraged by Pelosi himself .

As recently as October 3, as he resumed tweeting from the Walter Reed Medicaid Center after his hospitalization for COVID-19 treatment, Trump was encouraging the parties to close on a deal.

Then their sudden negotiations ceased and their equally sudden resumption began. Again, it is unclear at this point why he reversed the area twice; The explanation of his tweet attacked the Democratic positions that his negotiators had already largely accepted. He further confounded the situation and alienated the Senate Republicans by publicly stating that he wanted an incentive package even more expensive than Pelosi’s, though without presenting details.

Eventually the Pelosi-Mnuchin talks slowed to a crawl, with alleged progress on the COVID-19 test and strategy provisions but still prioritizing major differences between state and local government aid, tax provisions, and coronavirus liability shield Republicans is. Eventually Congress went home and ran for a pre-election deal, with Trump again indicating a big stimulus package that would be accompanied by a second stimulus package when he wins and Republicans occupy the House (a highly likely scenario) Will take.

If Trump loses the election, he has no special incentive to work hard on a deal during a lame session of Congress, and there is no benefit in negotiations, especially if his party loses the Senate as well. For Pelosi, she would have every reason in the world to wait for a new Biden administration in January and then move the law.

If Trump wins and his party hangs on the Senate, the negotiators will return to where they are today, and leave the negotiations there, as long as one side or the other has a new Congress and someone to wait for. Don’t be the reason. Inaugaration. Congress must return to Washington to keep the federal government running when a stopgap spending bill expires on December 11, which could in theory provide a vehicle for some relief.

All in all, however, the best bet is some sort of stimulus early next year, unless there is an epidemic and an economy Actually It could be worse, which may start the conversation earlier. More likely, we are talking about all summer and fall will be addressed in comprehensive legislation proposed by a new or re-elected president, which will have a short-term stimulus component.

If the economy continues to struggle and the political deadlock is resolved one way or another, additional incentives will eventually be provided and a second stimulus will be part of a mix of check measures. But no one should plan to pay on time for Christmas presents this year.

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