Over the past few months, several deadlines for the coronavirus relief package have come and passed. Now, reports are that one more deadline is approaching to decide the fate of the coronavirus relief package and stimulus check.
On Monday, it was reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin resumed negotiations on the next package. The two talked to each other on the phone Monday and Tuesday, reigniting hopes that Americans could get coronavirus stimulus checks this month.
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However, it seems, Democrats are not willing to wait too long for a counteroffer from the White House. On Monday, the House Democrats came up with an updated HEROES Act costing about $2.2 trillion, down from its original price tag of over $3 trillion.
A top House Democrat said late Tuesday that Democrats would wait until noon on Wednesday for a counteroffer from the White House. In case there is no counteroffer, the House Democrats may go ahead and vote on the bill.
Democrats would be waiting for “hopefully a substantive response tomorrow morning, by noon,” the second-ranking Democrat in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer told reporters late Tuesday.
If there is a vote, it could very well mean no coronavirus relief package and stimulus checks before the November election. This is because the new bill will likely fail to pass the Senate. The Senate Republicans are in favor of a relief package costing less than $1 trillion. Earlier this month, the Senate Republicans came up with a $500 billion relief package, but it failed to get enough votes.
This latest deadline for the coronavirus relief package and stimulus checks is more or less similar to the Oct. 2 deadline that many have been talking about. The House Democrats will go on a break after Oct. 2. Pelosi, however, suggested recently that she would call the House back to vote on the deal, if the two sides reach a consensus.
Pelosi positive on finding "common ground"
This week started on an optimistic note for those waiting for another round of coronavirus stimulus checks. Stimulus talks, which have largely remained suspended since early August, got back to life after Pelosi and Mnuchin talked over the phone on Monday. The two then talked again on Tuesday for about 50 minutes.
Pelosi, on Tuesday, sounded upbeat over the ongoing talks with Mnuchin. “Our conversation was a positive one. We’ll get back together tomorrow to see how we can find common ground,” she told MSNBC.
White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, who led the stimulus negotiations earlier, sounded optimistic on the ongoing talks as well.
“The secretary and I have had a couple of conversations this morning. We also had a conversation with the president, so hopefully we’ll make some progress and find a solution for the American people,” Meadows told reporters.