White House and Democratic negotiators may be inching closer to agreement aboutto help spur the economy. The White House reportedly signed off on a $1.5 trillion price tag, up from the original $1 trillion proposal, according to Politico. The Democrats have also come down from their initial $3 trillion proposal to $2.2 trillion.
“I’m more optimistic today than I have been in a long time,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Fox Business Tuesday about the prospects of a new stimulus bill.
The House of Representatives, Senate and White House already agree on aas part of a larger coronavirus rescue bill, but the total price, and mix of programs that will receive the funding, are points of contention. With the Senate returning to work today and the House coming back to Washington next week, the pieces will soon be in place for a vote, if a bill comes together.
With theabout two months away, both sides are under increasing pressure to produce more aid for Americans. Here are five scenarios that could happen with the stimulus package in the coming days and weeks.
A single large relief bill could pass
A single bill’s passage hinges on bipartisan agreement on the, and agreement from the White House. President Donald Trump would have to sign the bill into law.
Formal talks have yet to restart, but the Senate returns from its August recess this week and the House of Representatives gets back to work next week, afterduring the break.
Here’s a chart with speculative dates for when we could see a relief bill passed:
When could the stimulus bill pass?
|Senate votes||House votes||President signs|
|Possible timeline if legislation passes in September||Sept. 17||Sept. 18||Sept. 21|
|Sept. 29||Sept. 29||Sept. 30|
|Oct. 6||Oct. 7||Oct. 8|
|Oct. 20||Oct. 21||Oct. 22|
Smaller bills could pass instead
We might also see smaller pieces of legislation be proposed. The House presented one of the first of these piecemeal bills seeking to provideahead of an where many will likely be .
The Senate is expected to unveil a “skinny” coronavirus stimulus package this week. It may present another way to break the negotiation logjam, though the House is expected to block it.
“Let’s do a more targeted bill now,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sept. 6. “If we need to more in 30 days, we’ll continue to do more.”
Called the Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act (PDF), the draft of this proposed package does not include funding for a.
Executive orders could arise instead of or in addition to a bill
After talks originally collapsed on Aug. 7, Trump took unilateral action by signingon Aug. 8. It’s possible more executive actions are coming.
During a news conference last week,Trump said the administration might consider another executive action to release $300 billion in stimulus aid in an unused account for Americans, if Congress doesn’t vote to redirect those funds.
Trump’s current COVID-19 relief executive actions range fromto extending and until next year.
Relief could go on hold until after the election
With the Nov. 3 election two months away, the atmosphere in Washington could be too politically charged to pass more economic relief bills, and leaders may want to see what happens after the election.
With 470 seats in the US Congress — 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats — up for election in November, any change in majority to the House or Senate, and to the presidency itself, could shift the likelihood of certain laws being passed one way or another.
The government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is already playing heavily in the campaign at all levels. If a deal isn’t reached soon, the topic of a relief package could very well come up during town halls or debates held in the coming weeks.
If no additional action is taken
Unemployment remains at staggering levels and aon the horizon. If no action is taken on a relief package, individual bills or executive orders, it could potentially cause the economy to plunge into as economists say the damage already done is beginning to mirror the Great Recession of the late 2000s.
For more information, here’sand what to know about the stimulus bill proposals that could help inform a final package.