After Senate Republicans came up with the so-called skinny proposal earlier last month, doubts were raised over the possibility of the second round of stimulus checks. However, on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin revealed that both Democrats and Republicans have agreed to include coronavirus stimulus checks in the next relief package.
Coronavirus stimulus checks will be part of relief package
Mnuchin did not reveal specific details for the next round of stimulus checks. However, he did tell Fox Business that the next round of direct payments would be similar to what people got under the CARES Act. This means, if you got the checks in the first round, you are likely to get the payment in the second round as well.
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In the first round, the eligible Americans with adjusted gross incomes of up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples) got a payment of $1,200. The benefits phased out completely for those earning more than $99,000.
However, you will get the checks only when the two sides reach an agreement over the next relief package.
Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been negotiating the next relief package since the start of this week. Both talked over the phone on Monday and Tuesday, and on Wednesday, they had a 90-minute meeting. Though the two sides haven’t yet reached an agreement, they didn’t call off the talks either.
Will we finally have a bipartisan deal?
Democrats and Republicans have been in talks over the past couple of months, but have failed to come up with a deal so far. Now, with elections just about a month away and lawmakers wanting to return to their hometowns for the election campaign, another relief package looks unlikely before the election.
Even though Pelosi has assured that the House would be available for voting, the two sides have been unable to resolve their differences over the cost of the relief package.
Democrats recently introduced an updated HEROES Act costing about $2.2 trillion, down from the original cost of $3.3 trillion. The Senate Republicans, however, are unlikely to go beyond $1 trillion. Mnuchin may give a counter offer on Thursday, but the amount is unlikely to be more than $2 trillion.
Mnuchin said that President Donald Trump had instructed Republicans to raise their price tag for the relief package from their initial proposal of $1 trillion. The Treasury Secretary suggested the new number could be around the $1.5 trillion mark.
It must be noted that Democrats earlier rejected a package costing about $1.5 trillion, introduced by a bipartisan group. The Democrats rejected this proposal saying it is not enough to meet the needs of Americans. This means that the counter offer from Mnuchin should be more than $1.5 trillion.
Mnuchin, who is hopeful of reaching a deal, will be talking to Pelosi again on Thursday.
“I say we’re going to give it one more serious try to get this done and I think we’re hopeful that we can get something done,” he said, according to CNBC.