Senate Republicans, earlier this month, came up with a slimmed-down stimulus proposal costing about $600 billion. The bill, which did not include $1200 coronavirus stimulus checks, failed to get enough votes. On Tuesday, House Democrats pushed back on the stimulus checks exclusion, asserting that any coronavirus package must include direct payments.
Prior to this so-called skinny bill, both Democrats and Republicans were in favor of sending stimulus checks of $1,200. Both the HEROES Act and HEALS Act included a provision of $1,200 stimulus checks. However, failure to reach a consensus on the overall relief package blocked stimulus checks as well.
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On Tuesday, Democrats renewed their push for the coronavirus stimulus checks during a congressional hearing that included Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
“The economic impact payments must be made because the rent must be paid,” Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) said, according to CNBC. “If we do not do this, we will put persons at risk of being evicted at a time when we are having a pandemic that is still taking lives in this country.”
Green also talked about the latest Government Accountability Office report. He expressed concern over the report’s finding that the Treasury Department lacks adequate data on millions of people who are eligible for the stimulus, but haven’t received them yet.
Stimulus checks are needed, yet lawmakers aren’t ready
During the congressional hearing, there were questions about the need of another round of stimulus checks. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) questioned Mnuchin if the economy needs a second coronavirus stimulus checks.
“Yes or no, do you believe another stimulus check could help stabilize the economy?” Tlaib asked Mnuchin.
“I do,” Mnuchin replied. “The administration does support another stimulus payment.”
Mnuchin further noted that the lack of bipartisan support is the reason why the next relief package hasn’t passed yet. Tlaib then asked Mnuchin to make more efforts to get the lawmakers to approve the stimulus checks.
“I think you need to be very clear with the senators … that direct payments to individuals is critical to preventing economic collapse in our country,” said Tlaib.
Even though all sides – Democrats, Republicans and the White House – agree on sending coronavirus stimulus checks, Americans are still eagerly waiting. The only reason for this delay is politics. Each side is blaming the other for blocking the relief package.
Democrats argue that Republicans don’t understand American's needs, and thus, are offering a smaller package. Republicans, on the other hand, argue that Democrats want funds for unrelated things.
Trump, on Tuesday, reiterated the same thing, saying Democrats are holding up the relief package as they are only interested in "bailing out" blue states. In a tweet, Trump said that Democrats are only "interested in BAILING OUT their badly managed, high crime, Blue States" and not help “our workers or small businesses."