Millions of Americans are eagerly waiting for the next stimulus checks. However, there are plenty of things that are holding up the next stimulus package, including the cost of the total package, differences over the unemployment benefit and aid to states, as well as funding for the post office. One more reason that could delay the coronavirus relief package to sometime well after Labor Day, is the party conventions.
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Republicans and Democrats have several differences over the coronavirus stimulus package, and this has resulted in failed negotiations. Moreover, there are fewer chances that both sides will be able to focus on resolving those differences this month.
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This is because the two sides have now shifted focus to the national political conventions. Such a shift in focus could likely delay the coronavirus relief package to sometime after Labor Day. It also means, until the time the conventions end, unemployed people are likely on their own with little help from the government.
The absence of stimulus checks is a big concern for the politicians seeking reelection as well. They now have to answer to the voters back home why there is still no stimulus package even when the country is facing a significant number of coronavirus cases.
Rep. Susan Wild, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said there were expectations among people that Congress would come together to pass the next relief package. “And so when there wasn't, I think there was ... sort of a state of disbelief," she said, according to USA Today.
The Democratic National Convention started on Monday, and will continue for four days. This means, there is unlikely to be any in-person discussions over the next relief package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will speak on Wednesday night, while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will attend the convention virtually.
The Republican National Convention will start next week. It is not known if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will attend the convention.
Political conventions usually have been high-profile rallies, where party officials, in a convention hall, talk about their priorities and criticize the other side. This year, however, things are very different due to the coronavirus pandemic. The convention and speeches will mostly be online.
Dispute over post office funds also delaying things?
Another major thing that may likely delay the coronavirus relief package is the split over funding for the post office. President Donald Trump last week suggested that he may be holding up the stimulus package to block funding for mail-in voting.
“Now, if we don't make a deal, that means they don't get the money. That means they can't have universal mail-in voting, they just can't have it,” he told Fox Business.
However, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN on Sunday that the president may be willing to approve funds for the post office.
“Let's make sure that small businesses are protected with an extended [Payroll Protection] Program and put the postal funding in there. We'll pass it tomorrow. The president will sign it,” Meadows said.