After delaying the vote on Wednesday, the House of Representatives finally voted on the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus proposal on Thursday. As was expected, the proposal was approved. However, the House approval of the bill no way means that there will be another round of coronavirus stimulus checks before the election.
The bill was approved on Thursday night by a 214-207 vote. Eighteen Democrats voted against the bill, while Republicans were united in opposition. Even though it has been approved by the House, the bill is unlikely to become law. It is largely believed that the bill won’t pass through the Republican-held Senate.
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Most Senate Republicans are unwilling to spend trillions more on a relief package. Democrats know this very well, but the bill would give them something to talk about when they return home for the election campaign.
It is not clear if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would be willing to bring the new bill to the Senate floor for a vote. The House Republicans called the new bill “dead on arrival” in the Senate. They said the same thing about the original HEROES Act as well.
The HEROES Act 2.0 will need the support of the White House and at least some Senate Republicans to stand a chance to become law. This new bill was about a trillion dollars less than the original HEROES Act. Democrats reduced the price tag of the bill largely by shortening the duration of the benefits offered.
Bipartisan deal still possible
The Thursday vote follows days of conversation between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. There were hopes that the two would finally reach an agreement. They have been negotiating since early this week.
However, the two failed to reach an agreement on Thursday. They still have differences over a few issues, such as aid for state and local governments, and liability protection for businesses and schools, according to CNBC.
A good thing, however, is that the two agreed to continue talks over the next relief package. So, the hopes of a bipartisan deal and coronavirus stimulus checks is not completely dead.
Before the vote, Pelosi told reporters that there will be no agreement on the relief package Thursday night, but she will continue to hold talks with Mnuchin. Pelosi noted that it is important to get the details in legislative language.
"Even if we came to some agreement, nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to. It's the language," she said.
Pelosi hinted that she got a counter offer from Mnuchin, saying she will be reviewing the documents sent by him. The two talked over the phone on Thursday afternoon.
Later in the day, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, tweeted that the two “discussed further clarifications on amounts and language but distance on key areas remain. Their conversation will continue this afternoon."