Stimulus check update: No talks taking place

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Stimulus negotiations are nonexistent right now.

This is despite the fact that record levels of coronavirus cases are being reported and governments are starting to shut things down once again.

As the shut downs continue to happen, more livelihoods are going to be impacted and the need for more stimulus aid is only going to increase.

Yet, lawmakers still are failing to act.

According to CNBC, “Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have not spoken with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about another relief bill since the Nov. 3 election.”

That’s right, literally nothing has been done since the election….

The Senate and House only have about 10 more days that they will share together in session before the holidays so there is not much time to get anything done.

If it is true that these leaders have not spoken to each other about any relief bill, then the odds of something getting done in the next 10 days are extremely slim.

A deal like this takes at least a week to iron out the language and all of the details involved and even that would be pushing it in my opinion.

Democrat leaders did send a letter to McConnell yesterday asking him to “join us at the negotiating table this week so that we can work towards a bipartisan, bicameral COVID-19 relief agreement to crush the virus and save American lives.”

They also called for money for schools, small businesses, state and local governments, unemployment insurance, and wrote that the “pandemic and economic recession will not end without our help.”

This came at the same time that Biden was showing explicit support for a large relief bill like the Heroes act.

Right now, Congress should come together and pass a COVID relief package like the HEROES Act that the House passed six months ago. Once we shut down the virus and deliver economic relief to workers and businesses, then we can build back better than ever before.

Biden also called for Democrats and Republicans to cooperate and get something done.

“Refusal of Democrats [and] Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control. It’s a conscious decision. If we can decide not to cooperate, we could decide to cooperate.”

McConnell explicitly shut down the prospect of huge bill like the Heroes act pointing out its flaws.

House Democrats’ so-called “HEROES Act” is so unserious that it was condemned by the Speaker’s own moderate Democrats the instant she put it out.   Huge tax cuts for rich people in blue states, but no second round of the Paycheck Protection Program? Those are their priorities?

His spokesperson also reiterated that McConnell is only open to a narrowly targeted bill valued at around $500 billion.

His bill would include things like relief for schools, healthcare providers, PPP, but notably not stimulus checks.

So once again, we are at a stalemate.

The likely outcome is that this will drag out until after inauguration day when it is likely that the new president will be Joe Biden.

It also seems likely that Republicans will maintain control of the Senate so there will be no easy path to getting large relief done.

And at this point, there is no guarantee that even a more limited relief package will contain stimulus checks as McConnell has never really been a huge fan of including them in his proposals.

H/T

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