Key stimulus bill negotiators are meeting on Tuesday to discuss relief deals amid the first wave of coronavirus vaccine distribution and a nearing government shutdown.
While it seems lawmakers are close to avoiding the shutdown with a new spending bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has invited Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to an in-person meeting on COVID-19 relief.
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According to CNBC (opens in new tab), this meeting indicates an important bi-partisan effort to reach an agreement on relief spending. Although previous bi-partisan bills have surfaced in recent weeks, we've yet to see legislation largely supported by these party leaders.
For Pelosi and McConnell to compromise in particular would mean significant progress for passing another stimulus bill. Pelosi has demanded over $2 trillion in total relief spending, including a stimulus check 2 amount of $1,200 per eligible person; McConnell has remained in favor of a targeted, $500 billion bill.
This meeting comes after a group of legislators announced a two-part, $908 billion bi-partisan bill on Monday. The first part restarts federal unemployment aid at $300 per week for 16 weeks, extends rental assistance and provides funds for the Paycheck Protection Program. The second addresses government funding and business liability protections.
However, the latest bill does not include stimulus checks. They're not off the tablet yet, but Tuesday's meeting may determine the ultimate fate of a second round of direct payments.
Second stimulus check news: When will relief come?
Right now, it's hard to tell what might happen, partly because stimulus check 2 talks are taking place behind closed doors. Negotiations have stalled several times in past months, so there's no guarantee lawmakers will reach a resolution.
Perhaps with President Donald Trump's support, stimulus checks will gain traction in Tuesday's meeting. On Saturday (Dec. 12), Trump said he wanted "more money" for stimulus checks.
Check out our coverage of the latest stimulus check 2 updates as we learn more about the likelihood of another round of direct payments. Be sure to see our guide to the stimulus check 2 calculator to find out how much you might qualify for, too.