Legislators would seek to pass a new stimulus package before the end of 2020. The Senate came into session this week and has resumed talks on another stimulus package with the goal of passing a bill between the end of 2020 and before January 20, the date of Joe Biden’s inauguration as president of the United States.
Politicians and economists see the stimulus measures as a crucial way to stop the spread of the coronavirus, by distributing money to the economy through a second stimulus check, weekly unemployment benefits and funding programs such as vaccine development and distribution.
Both parties agree on the need for a new relief bill, but several obstacles remain.
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives said before Election Day tipped in Biden’s favor, that “as we prepare for the new administration, we must move quickly on a new coronavirus relief bill. We want the Republicans back at the table. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The job isn’t done, the Senate is going to have a very busy few weeks.
Although Biden has his own pandemic relief plan that includes a second stimulus check of up to $1,200 per adult, it will be President Donald Trump who will sign a successful package should Congress be able to put aside deep partisan divisions and reach an agreement before the year is out.
Pelosi has rejected the idea of a reduced stimulus package that McConnell has supported. While McConnell has favored another direct payment in the past, her recent efforts have been to try to pass a smaller package that does not include more stimulus checks.
The fate of a second stimulus check, weekly extra unemployment benefits for millions of Americans, and support for coronavirus testing is unknown at this time.
The fundamental differences are in the size and scope of the stimulus assistance, a proposal that contrasts the two political groups.
Experts have predicted that the increase in pandemic cases, combined with the few remaining stimulus benefits, will weaken the economy and put “millions of Americans” at risk of paying bills for basic services such as water, electricity and even food.
With Republicans winning seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate potentially divided between the two parties, analysts suggest that Pelosi may have trouble pushing through a new bill. Some policy experts predict that without full control of Congress, Pelosi would lose political influence.
This is compounded by additional pressure to pass a new bill to prevent the government from closing down on December 11.
Before the election, Trump made his position clear: “We will have a tremendous stimulus package immediately after the election”. But Trump based his commitment on the condition that he would win the election with a Republican majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.