Over the past few weeks we have been hearing that the next coronavirus stimulus package will come in July. Now, we are in July, so let’s see what progress has been made when it comes to the next stimulus package.
Coronavirus stimulus package: McConnell still says July
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell previously suggested that they will discuss the next stimulus bill in July. McConnell reiterated this again on Tuesday, along with blaming Democrats for practicing “political theater.”
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“As you’ve heard suggested, I said back in March we would take another look at this… probably in July… take a snapshot of where we are, both on the healthy front and the economic recovery front, and decide at that point what needs to be done further,” McConnell said.
Talking of what the next bill might include, McConnell said the focus will be on “kids, jobs, and healthcare.” McConnell noted that to move toward normalcy, the country will require K-12 students to resume their schooling. Further, he also stressed the importance to “re-energize hiring” and make “continued progress in healthcare.”
Also, he reaffirmed the inclusion of liability protections. McConnell said that liability protections would be for everyone and would ensure that no one gets sued if anyone contracts the virus on someone else’s property, except for those who are “grossly negligent or intentionally engaged in misconduct.”
“That’s a prediction I can make about a bill that we’ll make a final decision on in July when we get back. I think it’s exactly the right time (July)… to address this issue,” McConnell said.
Blaming Democrats, McConnell said this “political theater is the opposite of the serious Senate approach that built the CARES Act.” Further, he said that the U.S. does not need “Partisan theater and politicized wish-lists.”
What do other Republicans say?
Along with McConnell, Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe also indicated that the next coronavirus stimulus package could come in July. Speaking to Anna Wiernicki of Nexstar Media Group, Inhofe said the next bill is “going to happen, it’s just not going to happen yet.”
Inhofe informed that there was a discussion on the next stimulus check in last week’s Senate Republican luncheon. The Senator said the lawmakers support the idea, but are still sorting out the details. Hinting on what it might include, Inhofe suggested there might not be any reward for those who don’t want to work.
On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also talked about the next stimulus package. Mnuchin noted that the Treasury Department and the Senate are working carefully on a methodical approach for legislation on the next coronavirus stimulus package. According to WRBL, Mnuchin said they will take time and will be “thoughtful,” adding that the next package, if there is any, would be “much more targeted.”
On the other hand, Republican congressman Rodney Davis of Illinois is not optimistic on the next stimulus bill. “I’m not that optimistic that anything will happen in Washington when it comes to another COVID-related stimulus bill,” Davis said, as per WKRG.
Talking of whether there will be any coronavirus stimulus package in July, the chances are looking slim. It is very unlikely that the Senate will consider the next relief package this week. The Congress and the Senate will recess from July 3 to July 20. This means that any productive talks on the next package could only happen after July 20.
Democrats waiting for McConnell
The closest so far we have been on the next stimulus package is the $3 trillion HEROES Act. This bill promises $1,200 checks to American adults and children (up to $6000 for a family) and expands federal unemployment benefits as well. It was already passed in the House in May.
However, the HEROES Act is very unlikely to pass the Senate in its present form. “Speaker Pelosi decided on her own to put a $3 trillion wish list together and that allowed everyone in Washington to retreat to their partisan corners,” Davis said. He feels the $3 trillion price tag would make it very hard to arrive at any bipartisan legislation.
Democrats, on the other hand, are waiting for the Senate to do something on the next stimulus package. Rep. Jim McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said they are waiting for McConnell to get “off his rear end and do something,” adding that he has done nothing so far.
David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, also believes that McConnell needs to do something, even if it means coming up with their own relief package. Cicilline said there is a need to come up with a stimulus package as coronavirus has impacted too many people, but McConnell is doing “nothing.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is reluctant to support another coronavirus stimulus bill. Speaking to "Your World" on Tuesday, Manchin noted that more than 22 states have not yet used much of the money from the last stimulus package.
Manchin criticized Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on spending the money on building highways. “A hundred million dollars he's putting into a highway ... I don't know of a pothole that's had the COVID virus,” Manchin said.