Congress faces a strict deadline when it comes to approving the next coronavirus stimulus bill. Though several officials, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have assured a decision on the next bill this month, many are concerned that the numbers of days left in July may not be enough to reach a decision. In case there is a situation that the coronavirus stimulus bill discussion doesn’t reach a final decision next month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi assures that she would delay or cancel the scheduled August recess to finalize the next coronavirus stimulus bill.
Several benefits that were granted by the CARES Act are set to expire later this month. These benefits include the federal $600 unemployment insurance and the moratorium on evictions from a rented home. Moreover, with coronavirus cases still rising in some states resulting in a closedown of businesses, there is an urgency to come up with the next stimulus bill quickly.
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However, the number of days left to come up with the next stimulus bill is numbered considering July is the unofficial deadline. It is largely believed that the next stimulus will come later this month or in the first week of August. However, the Senate is currently on a break and will reconvene on July 20.
Further, Congress is also set to go on a month-long break from August 7. This means, there are about two weeks to get the next stimulus bill out. It is expected that two-weeks time is enough to approve the next bill, but what if it isn’t?
Will the Congress wait till September 10 to take up the discussion, or would it drop the idea of the next bill?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi answered this question yesterday, saying they will “absolutely” delay or cancel the August recess to come up with the next coronavirus stimulus.
When Pelosi was asked if she would forgo or postpone the August recess, she said, “We absolutely have to. We also have to come to an agreement.”
“The timetable is the timetable of the American people needing their unemployment insurance, their direct payments, their assistance for rent and mortgage foreclosure forbearance in terms of that,” she told CNN.
Republicans now are also showing urgency for the next coronavirus bill. Earlier this week, McConnell suggested that the Senate would start working on the next coronavirus relief package next week.
House members also expect to complete the bill before the August break. However, many are worried that negotiations may stretch beyond August 7. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) noted that there are chances that the timeline could be extended.
Hoyer hopes that the Senate will act quickly to take the long-overdue action on the next stimulus bill by the end of the week of July 27.
“Regardless, the House will return, if needed, to do its job whenever required to help Americans get through this crisis," Hoyer said in a letter to colleagues.