Nine months into the global pandemic, news broke on Wednesday morning that the United States Government is finally closing in on an economic relief package that will include a second round of stimulus checks for qualifying Americans. In addition to the checks, the new deal — which is “on the brink” of being done, according to Politico — would also include large sums of funding for “small businesses, vaccine distribution, education, transportation, and health care.”
Unfortunately, though, it appears not only will this second round of stimulus checks but too late, but they’ll be too little as well, as Politico is reporting that they’ll “likely be far less than the $1,200 per person included in the previous relief package — likely around $600 — in order to keep the cost of the bill in check.” In most American cities, $600 doesn’t even cover the cost of one month’s rent.
President Donald Trump has been keen on sending out checks to Americans, and has backing from liberals like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Republicans like Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). The Congressional Progressive Caucus has also demanded direct payments to individuals, but it’s not clear whether liberals will be mollified with such a sum.
An extension of unemployment benefits is also a part of the package under negotiation. Congress is also likely to deliver another round of boosted weekly unemployment payments which lapsed earlier this year, though it will be short of the $600 level approved by Congress earlier this year, according to two people familiar with the talks. [via Politico]
While it’s unclear exactly when the deal will be done, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell previously committed to passing economic relief package before Congress leaves for Christmas vacation, while Senator Steve Daines said on CNBC’s Squawk Box that negotiations between the two parties “went through the night” into Wednesday morning.