Today was the first day that the Senate was back in action but we did not find out much today in regards to how the debates are picking up.
Still, we did recently hear from some some senators which gave us an idea of where things might be going and it was NOT quite in the direction that I thought it would be.
Here’s a rundown of where things currently stand.
Not all Democrats are 100% on board
The proposed HEROES Act easily passed the House of Representatives which is controlled by Democrats.
And most of the voiced opposition that we have seen has come from the Republicans in the Senate but there are some Democrats in the Senate, including those on the Senate Finance Committee, who have shown interest in measures that don’t necessarily support direct payments to a broad group.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) seems to be prioritizing other policies like expanding unemployment benefits and assisting small businesses ahead of direct payments.
“My top priorities are tying expanded unemployment benefits to economic conditions and providing more help for the smallest of small businesses.” He even acknowledged there’s been “a little bit of debate” among Democratic senators regarding a second round of stimulus checks.
So I don’t think we can take it as a given that Democrats are going to be 100% on board with direct payments, at least not as a priority.
GOP members are on board for a slowly developing, narrowly tailored package
GOP members in the Senate have already called the act “dead on arrival.”
But that is no surprise as Democrats included provisions in the bill that they knew for certain would not be passed as a negotiation tactic.
But some GOP members still believe that another package will be passed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently stated, “We’re taking a careful look at a fourth and final bill” and that we could “anticipate the decision being made on whether to go forward in about a month.”
He also reiterated that “it will be narrowly crafted, designed to help us where we are a month from now, not where we were three months ago.”
So based on that language it looks like we will see a slowly developing package over the next month that may end up being the final bit of aid.
And that package may be quite narrow, which echoes what some Democrat Senators have stated like Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) who said the next round of stimulus relief “should be focused on households hit the hardest.”
The White House is on board
President Trump already stated that he thinks there will be another round of payments.
Around a week ago, when he was asked about a second round of stimulus checks by reporters during a visit to a factory in Michigan, he stated:
“I think there will be a second payment to help Americans move on. We will give them money towards the end of the outbreak. Right now we are focusing on reopening the country.”
And, there’s an emphasis on payments coming slowly or at a later time, perhaps a couple of months down the road.
So that’s where we stand now.
There is mixed support among lawmakers but there seems to be support for more aid coming in on some level and not in any major rush. I think the key is just waiting to see how “narrowly tailored” this package is truly going to be.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.