New Republican proposal has $1,200 stimulus checks

December 11 evening update:

The latest push for another round of $1,200 stimulus checks just got more serious.

The standalone proposal was backed by Republican Senator Josh Hawley — the youngest current US senator and some even think he is a presidential hopeful in 2024.

But now the proposal has been backed by Bernie Sanders, a member on the opposite side of the aisle.

“This Congress must address the economic emergency facing the American people. We cannot go back to our families during the Christmas holidays while tens of millions of families are suffering,” Sanders said.

And it looks like the duo is pretty serious about this push for the direct payments. So much so that they might even be threatening a government shut down at the deadline next week.

“I am not one of the members of the Senate who shuts down, does this or does that and keeps you here for the weekend. I don’t do that. But this I want to say right now, I am prepared to withdraw my objection at this moment, but I will not be prepared to withdraw an objection next week,” Sanders said.  

Hawley added there is “no reason that this body should leave next week before we vote on and approve direct assistance to working families.” 

Initially this proposal was purely a move by Hawley but after he introduced a standalone bill, Sanders reached out to him and they agreed to team up for a joint proposal.

The two senators want a vote on the measure to send out $1200 stimulus checks to those who make up to $75,000.

Some Republican leaders feel that the stimulus checks will divide the support among Republicans for more aid.

Others feel that introducing stimulus checks now will just complicate the negotiation process which has already been extremely complex.

But these senators remain optimistic.

“I think there’s a lot of different vehicles that could be moving next week,” Hawley said.

“The best outcome here is this gets put into an actual COVID relief bill.” 

Initially, the push for stimulus checks in this round of stimulus relief did not seem like it was going to go anywhere and it seemed like the best case scenario involved direct payments going out in 2021.

But we are seeing some earnest support among both Republican and Democratic senators that might be enough to get some conversations going on including these checks.

The coronavirus numbers continue to look pretty miserable in terms of the number of infected individuals and those who have passed away.

More shut downs are coming so it really is starting to look like there is a stronger case for more stimulus checks.

So I would not count out more checks until we see a vote at the end of next week.


December 10 evening update:

It looks like some lawmakers are refusing to give up on more stimulus checks.

The latest effort for more stimulus checks is coming from Senator Josh Hawley.

His support is interesting because he is a Republican and for the most part it has been the Democratic senators who are voicing support for more stimulus checks.

(For those that don’t know he is the youngest current US senator and some even think he is a presidential hopeful in 2024.)

He is proposing a standalone stimulus check bill that would send out $1,200 checks in the same fashion that the Cares Act did back in March.

“It’s what every single senator has already supported, so there should be no fiddling about ‘oh I don’t know this is different.’ It’s exactly what every senator has voted for once,” Hawley said. 

“If the negotiators can’t reach some sort of compromise I will go to the floor next week and I’ll ask for an up or down vote on that,” he added.

It’s great to see the effort to get these checks passed but I don’t think you can use the logic that lawmakers voted for this thing once so therefore they should do it again.

We are living in a situation that is a bit different from what we experienced back in March.

It’s a different type of uncertainty we face with a different type of outlook thanks to vaccines and an economy that shows signs of recovery.

That’s not to say that more stimulus checks can’t be justified — it’s just that the justification may be a little bit different.

So at this point we have progressives from the left who are pushing for more stimulus checks, the White House pushing for smaller $600 direct payments, and some Republicans voicing support for $1,200 checks.

I’m still not overly optimistic about more stimulus checks going out in 2020 but seeing different individuals from different parties push for more checks is a sign that there is a lot of support for direct payments and I do think we might eventually see them go out at some point in 2021.



Original article

It’s been looking like stimulus checks are not going to be a part of the next stimulus proposal.

But there still have been some pushes to send out more direct payments. We recently heard from several senators who expressed a lot of support for more checks and some even threatened to veto a merger without them.

And yesterday, the White House quietly proposed more stimulus checks but in a lower amount.

The new proposal would send out $600 direct payments to most Americans but it will come at a big cost.

It would replace the $300 per week unemployment benefits.

Those benefits are simply too valuable for lawmakers and so apparently lawmakers rejected that proposal.

The proposal is one of the first times that we have seen a proposal involving reduced stimulus checks. (Typically, a stimulus proposal either has no stimulus checks or sends out checks in the same amount or higher.)

Sending out reduced checks could make sense if the public does not need the same level of aid that was sent out last spring. And that could be true given how unemployment has rebounded along with other economic indicators.

Apparently, the measure was also supported by McConnell which does not come as a surprise because he had flirted around with the possibility of tailored stimulus checks in the past.

The contents of the proposal for the next stimulus proposal seems to still be largely coming from the bipartisan group and some people feel that McConnell is getting in the way.

“We’re trying to get a bipartisan compromise along the lines of the Gang of Eight framework,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

“We need Leader McConnell to stop sabotaging the talks and work with this gang of eight, which is the most hopeful and the only bipartisan group together.”

Others feel that the bipartisan group simply put down the foundation and it’s time for the top leaders to start talking about the details of a new deal.

“The bipartisan group provided a good foundation kind of a place to start from. And hopefully, the negotiations are real negotiations on what can ultimately pass the House, the Senate, and get signed,” Thune said.

“We need to get under way.”

It’s looking like December 18 will be the (new) final deadline for getting something done so we might have to wait another 7 to 10 days to see a resolution on the stimulus.


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