Chances of another round of stimulus checks are fading with every passing day. All hopes, however, are still not lost. Many believe that both Democrats and Republicans will eventually sit down to negotiate on the next stimulus bill. Yes, it’s possible the two sides will sit down to talk, but when they do, they will have to take quick action on coronavirus stimulus checks as the number of official working days for the Senate and House are quite limited.
The Senate returned to the capitol last week after a month-long recess, while the House is scheduled to return today. As per a report from en.as, the House now has just 12 working days to come up with coronavirus stimulus checks before they go into a recess to prepare for the November 3rd election.
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In case the Senate passes the next stimulus bill the last week of September, the House would have until October 1 to approve it. If the President then signs it by October 2, the IRS would likely start sending the stimulus checks the week of October 12.
A couple of weeks back, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that after Congress approves the next stimulus package, the IRS would be ready to send the checks in about a week from the approval date.
The House may have 12 working days, but it is unlikely that all the days will be reserved for the coronavirus stimulus checks. Another issue that the lawmakers will be focusing on is a deal to avoid a government shutdown.
So, some of their time will go toward this as well. The deal to avoid a government shutdown is not expected to take too much time though as the two sides have already shown a commitment to resolve the issue.
Will there ever be a deal?
The IRS may be more prepared now to send out the second checks, but the two sides don’t seem keen on striking a bipartisan deal. Last week, the Senate Republicans introduced a $500 billion slimmed-down proposal, but it failed to get enough votes.
The total cost of the bill is a major sticking point between the two sides. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now firm on a stimulus package costing $2.2 trillion. Republicans, on the other hand, don’t want to spend more than $1 trillion. The GOP’s initial proposal, the HEALS Act, was about $1 trillion.
The White House, however, has made an offer of $1.2 trillion, but it was rejected by Pelosi, saying it will be insufficient to meet the needs of Americans. There are reports that the White House is considering raising the proposal to about $1.5 trillion.
Nothing is certain, however. Senator Richard Shelby, a Republican, echoed similar thoughts recently. “You never know around here,” Shelby told CNN. “Sometimes things look bleak and they’re revived, and so forth.”