There haven’t been any real negotiations on the coronavirus stimulus package since the talks collapsed on August 7. However, there were reports last week that Senate Republicans are working on a new package that won’t have coronavirus stimulus checks for Americans. Now we have more details on the new package, referred to as the “skinny” proposal because it excludes many provisions included in the HEALS Act, such as stimulus checks.
No coronavirus stimulus checks for Americans?
This new bill from the Senate is called the Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act. Though the bill says providing immediate relief to families, it does not include coronavirus stimulus checks for Americans.
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As per a Forbes report, the bill proposed enhanced unemployment insurance, the Paycheck Protection Program, funds for school re-openings, coronavirus testing, vaccine production, as well as funds for the U.S. Postal Service.
This new skinny proposal would offer $300 in enhanced unemployment insurance. The CARES Act offered $600 in federal unemployment benefits, but it expired in July. Despite offering so many benefits, many Americans are now wondering why the bill doesn’t include coronavirus stimulus checks.
This new skinny bill surely surprises many especially after considering that both Democrats and Republicans had promised to send $1,200 in stimulus checks in their initial proposals, the HEROES Act and the HEALS Act.
Even during the negotiations late last month and earlier this month, there was never any split on sending the stimulus checks to Americans. In fact, President Donald Trump, on several occasions, has mentioned sending out generous stimulus checks.
What happens now?
It will be interesting to see what the Senate does with this new skinny bill because both House and Senate are on recess until September 8. The Senate is unlikely to get it passed before then without an official vote. The House returned last weekend to vote on postal service legislation, but the Senate is still on recess.
Some officials are hopeful of getting a stimulus package before Labor Day. “Let’s go ahead and get a stimulus check out to Americans. Let’s make sure that small businesses are protected..and put the postal funding in there. We’ll pass it tomorrow. The president will sign it,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN on last week.
Since there were no talks on the skinny bill or any other bill on Saturday, it is now believed that the two sides will resume negotiations after Labor Day. The question, however, still remains: will there be another round of coronavirus stimulus checks for Americans?
If the developments so far are anything to go by, there are still good chances of Congress approving another round of stimulus checks. The new skinny bill is only a draft for now. Democrats are likely to reject it as well. Republicans probably only brought it up to strengthen their negotiation position.