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Stimulus check round 2: Partisan politics stalling more payments?


WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 29: U.S. President Donald Trump’s name appears on the coronavirus economic assistance checks that were sent to citizens across the country April 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. The initial 88 million payments totaling nearly $158 billion were sent by the Treasury Department last week as most of the country remains under stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The bottom line for you: no new checks until things get worked out. And in the nation’s capital, that’s not always easy.

“I’m not that optimistic that anything will happen in Washington when it comes to another COVID-related stimulus bill,” said Republican congressman Rodney Davis of Illinois. “Speaker Pelosi decided on her own to put a $3 trillion wish list together and that allowed everyone in Washington to retreat to their partisan corners.”

Davis is referencing the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion bill that includes $275 billion for testing and healthcare worker hazard pay and a trillion dollars for state and local governments. 

Passed by House Democratic in May, the HEROES Act would offer another round of $1,200 checks to American adults and children. It also expands the number of people who are eligible to receive government aid by including college students and older teenagers. The payments would be capped at $6,000 per household.

This would follow March’s stimulus package that included one-time payments of up to $1,200 for eligible Americans.

Some lawmakers like Rep. Roger Marshall, a Republican from Kansas, feel we need a “wait-and-see” approach to any future relief.

“I don’t think we need to be spending more money right now.” Marshall said.

Rep. Davis believes the route Democrats took with loading $3 trillion into the HEROES Act makes it “more difficult to put any bipartisan legislation together in the future.”

As you might imagine, Davis and Marshall’s colleagues on the other side of the aisle see things differently.

“We’re waiting for Mitch McConnell over on the Senate side to get off his rear end and do something,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts. “Up to this point, he’s done nothing.”

“We need to do something,” McGovern added.

Republican senators who serve alongside McConnell seem confident relief is on the way.

“It is going to happen, it’s just not going to happen yet,” Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe recently told Nexstar Media Group Washington D.C. correspondent Anna Wiernicki.

The Senator says the idea of a second stimulus check filled two-hours of discussion at last week’s Senate Republican luncheon. He added lawmakers are supportive but are still working on the details.

“What you don’t want to do is have a reward given to people who don’t want to work,” Inhofe added.

Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn says a payroll tax holiday is also being considered.

“That is a little challenging, because the payroll tax is how we pay for Medicare and Social Security — but that would be a way to get money directly in the hands of people who need the cash,” said Cornyn.

Roughly one week ago, President Trump confidently said during an interview his administration would push another stimulus package.

The president offered few details, however, saying, “It will be very good. It’ll be very generous.”

When asked how much the payment might be, Trump said, “You’ll find out about it. You’ll find out.”

Trump added that he thought the relief funds would receive bipartisan support and could be announced “over the next couple of weeks.”

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