Coronavirus stimulus checks: $1.5T package rejected by Democrats. What now?

Earlier this week, there was some excitement among Americans waiting for the next stimulus checks. A bipartisan group introduced a $1.5 trillion relief package, which included coronavirus stimulus checks of $1,200. Many expected this bill to gain approval from both Democrats and Republicans. But, there are reports that Democrats rejected this bill, which included coronavirus stimulus checks.

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Coronavirus stimulus checks: why did Democrats reject $1.5T package?

On Tuesday, a bipartisan group called the Problem Solvers Caucus came up with a $1.5 trillion relief package. The bill was seen as a compromise between Democrats and Republicans as it included almost everything that the two sides want, such as unemployment benefits, aid to state and local governments and more.

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Still, this package was rejected by the Democrats because it “leaves too many needs unmet." In a statement, according to CNN, the eight House Democratic committee chairs rejected the $1.5 trillion relief package, saying it "falls short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy."

Further, the statement detailed what the $1.5 trillion lacked. As per the statement, the package fails to meet the need of “bolstering the public health system, supporting state and local governments, and assisting struggling families.”

Also, the statement said that with the general election close and the “Postal Service sabotaged by the Trump administration, their proposal also abandons our responsibility to protect the life of our democracy."

Separately, talking about the $1.5 trillion relief package, House Democrat Steny Hoyer (MD) said that it included some "useful ideas, important ideas," but more is needed to fully meet the needs of Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hoyer admitted that a “compromise is absolutely essential,” but said a compromise that does not address the problem is of no use “because the longer you delay addressing many of the problems, the greater you weaken both the economy and the response to COVID-19."

Are Democrats right?

Max Rose, a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, expressed disappointment over the rejection of the $1.5 trillion relief package and blamed "politics" for this. "You saw all the reasons why people hate politics," Rose told CNN, adding “it's deeply frustrating."

Rose noted that Republicans in the Caucus group agreed on funding for state and local governments, but then top Democrats have rejected it outright. The aid to state and local governments has been a major sticking point in the negotiations so far. Democrats are demanding $915 billion, but the White House so far agreed on $150 billion. This $1.5 trillion relief package offered $500 billion in aid to state and local governments.

When asked about his party leadership, Rose said, "It's a charade. ... It's stupid" and "It made me disappointed to be a Democrat."

The rejection of the $1.5 trillion relief package, which included coronavirus stimulus checks, is seen as a huge setback to the chances of another relief package. Earlier, it was expected that the White House could offer a $1.5 trillion package as a compromise. Now that Democrats have already rejected a $1.5 trillion package, the chances of Republicans or the White House going beyond that are even less.