THE COUNTDOWN to the second $1,2000 stimulus check is set to begin in just four days when the House of Representatives returns to Washington DC from the summer recess.
This means lawmakers will have a small window to potentially reach a deal on sending Americans the much-needed money as millions continue to grapple with financial stress during the pandemic
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At the beginning of August, Congress adjourned for summer break without reaching an agreement.
The Senate is already back in session, while the House of Representatives is set to returns from recess on September 14.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has said that closed-door negotiations over stimulus checks have stalled because liberals have demanded funding for non-COVID-related issues.
“Hopefully Mitch will enter new legislation next week,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Fox News on Monday.
Congress and the White House previously agreed on intending to send a second stimulus check as part of a larger coronavirus rescue bill, but the points of contention remain the total amount and the mix of programs that will receive the funding.
House Democrats passed the $3 trillion Heroes Act in May, but Senate Republicans countered with a much smaller $1 trillion package in August.
According to Politico, the White House reportedly is expected to sign off on a $1.5 trillion price tag for the bill this week – up from the original $1 trillion proposal.
The Democrats have also come down from their initial $3 trillion proposal to $2.2 trillion.
With a $900 billion gap between proposals, many remain hopeful on the prospect of another major stimulus package including direct payments to Americans.
If the Senate passes a new relief bill on September 11, the House passes it on September 16, and the president signs it on September 17, the first checks could possibly be distributed on the week of September 28.
Speaking at a House subcommittee hearing, Representative James Clyburn said Tuesday: "Additional economic stimulus is urgently needed.
"As the pandemic drags on, states, cities, and businesses are warning that more layoffs may be coming."
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said President Donald Trump is the "only one" making moves to get financial relief to American people amid the ongoing pandemic.
Meadows slammed Democrats on Capitol Hill who he said "failed to come together on anything that would address … enhanced unemployment [and] eviction protections," during an August 24 interview with CBS This Morning.
The IRS recently announced that it would be sending out 50,000 "catch up" stimulus checks next month to some Americans who did not receive the payment earlier this year.
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