Senate Republicans have roundly criticized the, which includes . But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might be willing to vote on a finalized proposal if a deal is reached. On Saturday, he said “the Senate would of course consider it,” without committing to a vote, The Washington Post reported.
That “if” is the knife’s edge of arduous negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is currently in the Middle East. On Saturday, Pelosi set a Tuesday deadline to finalize all language on the stimulus package for it to stand a chance of passing before , which is now 15 days away. Mnuchin and Pelosi are expected to talk Monday, .
On Sunday, Pelosi presented a list of remaining objections, including specific language on coronavirus testing, a child tax credit and the US census count. She continued to express hope, however: “I am optimistic that we can reach agreement before the election.”
Senate Republicans, who are sharply divided from President Donald Trump on the stimulus issue, pose the biggest hurdle to a deal going through. On Tuesday, McConnell will preside over a vote on a $500 billion stand-alone bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program, a loan for businesses to help retain employees during the. On Wednesday, he’ll revive last month’s $500 billion “skinny” bill that Democrats blocked.
While the Senate may not expect either bill to pass, voting on them now is a clear rejection of the almost $2 trillion stimulus package that Trump so vocally supports. It is the latest evidence that GOP senators could break with Trump, perhaps fearing for their personal reelection chances and the resulting “bloodbath” if the election results hand Democrats control over both chambers of Congress and the presidency.
Trump has downplayed his concern of a Republican pushback over the last week, most recently saying on Fox News he “will take care of that problem in two minutes” if the Senate opposes the bill. “If I had something that would be good, I think I could quickly convince the Republicans to do it,” adding, “and I wanted a higher number than [Pelosi] wanted.”
Senate Republicans have repeatedly defied additional coronavirus relief aid over $1 trillion. “That’s where the administration is willing to go,” McConnell told reporters last week from Kentucky, referring to the White House offer. “My members think half a trillion dollars, highly targeted, is the best way to go,” he said, referring to Tuesday’s vote.
What happens if a bill doesn’t pass before the election and how could it affect Americans and the economy? Here’s what we know. We update this story with new information.
Will the Senate’s stand-alone or ‘skinny’ bills pass?
It’s uncertain if the stand-alone PPP bill orfor $300 extra per week, will pass the Senate, especially after the latter package failed to advance in the Senate and was blocked by Democrats.
A narrow Senate bill is also unlikely to pass in the House of Representatives, whose leader, Pelosi, has consistently rejected a stand-alone bill that is not tied to a larger aid package. Some Democratic lawmakers, however, have pushed for Pelosi to take a deal now rather than no deal.
Analysts consider the Senate’s bills a way to publicly demonstrate to voters that they’re taking coronavirus relief seriously, ahead of an election that could cause the Senate to lose its Republican majority.
What happens if a COVID relief bill doesn’t pass before Nov. 3?
At this point, there’s still a possibility that a new stimulus aid package will pass, though the uncertainties are many. Here are some ways events could play out.
White House offer is finalized in time and passes: In this best-case scenario, a bill passes both chambers of Congress and is signed into law before Nov. 3. Stimulus checks and other aid would likely begin to go out within weeks.
White House offer is finalized and fails in the Senate: In this situation, the House could either attempt to pick up the Senate bills, if they pass that chamber, or wait until after the election — and potentially after the Jan. 20 inauguration — to revisit stimulus aid, potentially setting back the clock by months.
White House offer is not finalized in time and talks continue: This scenario is much like above, and would effectively stall a bill earlier than the previous scenario. It’s likely that the House would then use this bill as a starting point to push the bill through faster once negotiations revive post-election.
Senate bills pass and House passes as last-ditch effort: In the event that the Senate’s narrow stimulus bills pass that chamber, the House would have the option to take them up. If they passed, Trump would be able to sign into law or veto. It would be likely that Congress would take up another stimulus package post-election regardless.
Talks stop until after the election results are in: If talks don’t yield an actionable bill, negotiations could limp along or stop altogether. However, it’s likely they’ll restart in some capacity immediately after the election and leading into January. It’s been speculated that if Trump loses the election and if the Senate loses its majority, there will be little incentive to pass a sweeping package until 2021 during the transition.
To help visualize when a bill could pass, we’ve speculated five possible dates, both before and after the November election. If a bill does pass that includes a direct payment, here’s.
When could a stand-alone stimulus bill or package pass?
|House votes||Senate votes||President signs|
|Oct. 26||Oct. 27||Oct. 28|
|Nov. 9||Nov. 10||Nov. 11|
|Nov. 16||Nov. 17||Nov. 18|
|Nov. 23||Nov. 24||Nov. 25|
|Feb. 1, 2021||Feb. 2, 2021||Feb. 3, 2021|
What about the House’s new stimulus bill?
On Oct. 1, the House of Representatives passedthat includes a and such as for tens of millions of Americans. The new House bill, endorsed primarily by Democrats, was not expected to advance through the Republican-controlled Senate, and indeed has not.
According to Pelosi, the vote on the revised Heroes bill was independent of ongoing negotiations with Mnuchin.
The vote was thought to provide cover for House Democrats as they campaign without a new relief bill, much as the Senate did earlier in September for Republican members with its $650 billion skinny bill. Like the skinny Senate bill, this new House proposal has little chance of advancing in the other chamber.
What do Republicans and Democrats agree on, if anything?
Proposals from both sides include another for individuals , among topics like aid for airlines, and extending the Paycheck Protection Program for businesses. Although the Senate’s targeted bills do not include stimulus checks, in the past, Republicans (including those in the Senate) have supported them.
For more information about stimulus checks, here’sand what to know about the stimulus bill proposals that could help inform a final package.