While stimulus check 2’s fate looks uncertain, Senate Republicans are set to formally introduce their “skinny” stimulus package this week, as House Democrats and White House officials remain at odds over next steps for additional relief.
CNBC reports that the $500 billion bill is expected to include federal unemployment benefits of $300-$400 per week, but it will not provide a stimulus check 2 amount of $1,200 to Americans — even though all parties previously agreed on another round of direct payments.
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This “skinny” bill, along with a narrower proposal from some House Democrats, has shifted the focus from stimulus check 2 to continuing the federal unemployment insurance supplement that expired at the end of July.
This program has been a particularly sticky issue in the negotiations between lawmakers and administration officials. President Trump even jumped in with an executive order to extend federal unemployment at a reduced level, a benefit many states are gearing up to provide for at least a few weeks.
However, CNBC suggests that the Republican’s smaller proposal is unlikely to become law, leaving the possibility of stimulus check 2 and ongoing unemployment relief as unresolved as ever.
Second stimulus check proposals
Prior to the introduction of this “skinny” bill, there were several formal proposals that included a second round of direct payments.
The House-passed HEROES Act would provide another $1,200 check to Americans making less than $75,000 per year (if single) and $150,000 per year (if married) with prorated benefits for those earning slightly more. The bill would also send $1,200 to dependents of any age, up to $6,000 per family.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s HEALS Act, introduced in July, would offer similar benefits. Dependents would receive just $500, but there would be no cap on how much a family could receive.
A third proposal from a group of Senate Republicans would have sent $1,000 to taxpayers and dependents of any age but with a lower income eligibility cap.
Lawmakers won’t return to Washington for the next legislative session until after Labor Day, at which point they could take up a proposal for debate. However, there’s no indication that House Democrats, administration officials and Senate Republicans are anywhere close to an agreement, nor that they’ll come back to the table to keep talking.