Coronavirus relief package: Both sides could resume talks

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It was an eventful last week for those waiting for the coronavirus stimulus checks. Initially, it appeared that negotiators would reach a deal, but the talks eventually collapsed owing to the differences on a few provisions. Still, there is hope that negotiators will meet again this week to pass at least part of the coronavirus relief package they agree on, such as stimulus checks.

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Both sides may resume talks on coronavirus relief package

August 7 was the self-imposed deadline to come up with the next coronavirus relief package. However, the differences over unemployment benefits, aid to states and local governments and more, prevented negotiators from reaching a deal.

Following the failure, President Donald Trump on Saturday issued executive orders to extend unemployment benefits, an eviction moratorium and student loan relief. On Sunday, however, negotiators expressed the intention to resume talks on the coronavirus relief package, including stimulus checks.

"Meet us halfway and we'll be able to have an agreement that meets the needs of the American people," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday. "We need to come to agreement. We've got to meet halfway."

"We both want to send more checks to the American workers. We wanted to send more PPP to those hardest-hit businesses. We've said, let's pass legislation on the things we agree on," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said after Pelosi’s comments.

Mnuchin's comments to “let's pass legislation on the things we agree on” suggests that both sides could at least come together to approve the stimulus checks. Both Democrats and Republicans agree on the need to send stimulus checks, as well as the size of the checks.

Consensus on need and size of stimulus checks

The Democrats-backed HEROES and Republicans’ HEALS Acts propose $1,200 in stimulus checks. Also, the two proposals have the same income limit as was proposed by the CARES Act. The two proposals, however, differ on the payment to dependents. The HEROES Act proposes giving $1,200 to dependents, with a maximum of three dependents per family.

On the other hand, the HEALS Act, similar to the CARES Act, offers $500 per dependent. However, unlike the CARES Act, the HEALS Act doesn’t limit dependents to those under 17 to qualify for the benefit.

So, it is possible that when both sides meet again this week to discuss the coronavirus relief package, they will quickly reach a deal over the stimulus checks. For that to happen, they will only have to reach a consensus over the dependent payment.

If talks on the coronavirus relief package and stimulus checks start on Monday, it is possible that it goes to a vote in one chamber on Tuesday or Wednesday. Both the chambers need to vote before the bill is sent to the President for his signature.

If the new bill follows the same timeline as the CARES Act, then it could become law within three days after the Senate votes.