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Stimulus check 2 may have a chance — after Election Day

Ben Franklin $100 bill
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After failing to put together a second stimulus package ahead of next week's election, lawmakers of both parties in Washington, D.C., say they're cautiously optimistic about reaching a deal for stimulus check 2 in the coming months. 

Several top Senate Republicans, who have been largely removed from the negotiations between House Democrats and the Trump administration, now say that they're open to additional relief once the pressure of Election Day subsides, The Hill reports

"The motivation level on both sides will depend on how the election comes out, but I think either way we'll do something," said Senate Republican Whip John Thune (R-South Dakota). "The question is how much." 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said Thursday that she is still hoping for a deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin before the end of the year, according to Politico. The two parties were pointing fingers earlier in the day, calling into question their earlier optimism about a future consensus. 

"Why would we be talking to them if we didn't want a bill?" Pelosi said.

Of course, talks have been ongoing since late summer and thus far haven't yielded any meaningful results. But as The Hill points out, legislation can be a difficult sell in the months leading up to an election, so lawmakers may be more amenable to a deal after Nov. 3. 

What's on the table so far? 

Pelosi and Mnuchin were inching closer to an agreement resembling the House's $2.2 trillion revised HEROES Act, which passed a vote earlier this fall. 

They were still at odds over some specific provisions, including how much aid to allot to state and local governments as well as whether to provide coronavirus-related liability protections to businesses. 

Both sides were on board with a second $1,200 stimulus check going out to qualifying taxpayers, however. 

The Senate, meanwhile, has resisted spending even close to $2.2 trillion. A recent Republican $500 billion "skinny" bill — which did not include stimulus check 2 — was blocked from advancing by Democrats. 

It's unclear in which direction lawmakers will move after Election Day, but it's likely to depend on which parties win the White House and the Senate.