Word is coming out that a second stimulus package will be discussed in the Senate around the 20th of July. Although the exact details are uncertain, there is a greater interest in passing a package in the Senate. President Trump has already indicated that he is for a new package.
With coronavirus seriously spreading around the nation and many businesses already reclosed, the need for a new package is due. It appears that COVID-19 is not going to go away anytime soon, which means more people and businesses will need financial help if they (or even some of them) are shut down again. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that a check is on the way – yet.
One thing that is not likely to be in the package is the $600 extra for people on unemployment. The Senate has felt for some time that it is counterproductive to getting people to go back to work because it provides them with more money than they would otherwise earn. A proposal for a smaller amount – possibly $400 – has been suggested.
Another idea that is being discussed is a return-to-work bonus. The government is more interested in people going back to work than it is in people staying unemployed. Since many people have chosen not to go back to work due to the threat of coronavirus or because of receiving more money while unemployed, this bonus may be included in the package.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he hopes to have a package ready to go by the time that the Senate breaks for a recess on August 10th. This means that the proposed bill will need to be discussed, adjusted, and then passed in a little more than two weeks. The Senate will be taking a recess between July 3 and July 19th. During this break, the Senators are to gather the information needed to discuss the package when they come back. This schedule means that if the second stimulus check is approved, that it will not come anytime in July – and possibly not before September.
Some things that are expected to be in the new package may include a variety of targets. They may include:
- More testing for COVID-19
- More money to develop a vaccine
- Money for individuals (possibly the same as before).
The exact amount of money that individuals and families will receive has not been determined yet, but President Trump has indicated that it should be very generous. Of course, nothing is definite yet.
In May, the House had passed a HEROES Act package, but it was pronounced dead on arrival when it hit the Senate floor. It was incredibly huge ($3 trillion) and included everything the Democrats wanted to spend money on toward the coronavirus crisis. The size of it made it unlikely to pass in a Republican-controlled Senate.
When Congress meets again in July, several things will be considered when a second stimulus check gets discussed. A lot of things could change between now and July 20th. Senators will have to consider the number of people unemployed, how widespread the coronavirus, the stability of the economy, the total cost of creating a second stimulus package, and you can be sure that the elections will also have a part.
Editors note: Hopefully this becomes less a political football and more an effort to manage an economy in crisis.