(CBS Detroit)- While the news cycle was dominated over the weekend by news of President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis and health status, Democrats and Republicans renewed efforts to attempt to come to an agreement on a new economic relief package. With time running out before Election Day, the president urged the two sides to work together to get a stimulus package done with a tweet on Saturday.
OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2020
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, appearing on Face The Nation on Sunday morning, said that the two sides are moving closer to a deal.
“We’re making progress,” Pelosi said Sunday on Face The Nation. “It just depends on if they understand what we have to do to crush the virus.”
That progress, made between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, would still need to to be approved by the GOP-controlled Senate in order to be signed into law. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suspended his chamber until October 19 after three Republican senators tested positive for COVID-19 in the wake of the president’s positive test. However, he has said that he could recall senators to hold a floor vote if a deal on a new economic package is made.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that a deal on a new stimulus package could be done by midweek.
So, with all of this potential momentum towards a new deal, a few questions remain. What would a new stimulus package entail? What is the earliest possible date Americans could see money in their accounts? What will the amount of a new stimulus check be? Let’s run through those questions one by one.
What Would A New Stimulus Package Entail?
The first thing to note is that the negotiations between Pelosi and Mnuchin are not over the HEROES Act that was passed by the House on Thursday. Any deal would have to bridge the current divide between the two parties, as Democrats have pushed for a $2.2 trillion package this time around while Mnuchin said that the administration is in the $1.5 trillion range.
With that note out of the way, we know that another round of stimulus checks is likely to be included in any deal struck between the two sides.
Oh boy twitter. Mnuchin just now on talks with Pelosi: “We have reached an agreement that if there is a deal there will be direct payments” — meaning the $1,200 stimulus checks. Still need the deal tho!
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) September 30, 2020
In addition, continued federal unemployment benefits are part of the discussion. There is disagreement between the two sides over the size of those unemployment benefits.
The Democrats, in their recently passed HEROES Act, called for Congress to provide $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits, matching the total from the first stimulus bill earlier this year. Mnuchin has countered that with a $400 per week proposal but the Post reports that Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, pushed back on that proposal arguing “that it would encourage people to stay home rather than work.”
Another main point of contention remains potential federal aid to state and local governments. Democrats have proposed “hundreds of billions” in aid while Republicans have pushed back calling it a “blue state bailout.”
What Is The Earliest Date Stimulus Checks Could Arrive?
If a deal between the two sides is struck, it would mean a new bill would have to be drawn up and passed by both the House and the Senate before being signed by President Trump. Politico reported that it could take a week between when a deal is struck and when a new bill is voted on.
If we were to take the timetable of midweek this week, that would place a deal being struck Wednesday, October 7 or Thursday, October 8. The House is officially in recess until Friday, though they could be called back at any time for a vote. The same goes for the Senate as mentioned above with majority leader McConnell suspending the chamber until the 19.
In this scenario, with a deal agreed to this week, and a week needed before votes are taken, we could see something like the following:
House vote on October 16, Senate vote October 19, President Trump signs bill Tuesday, October 20.
Secretary Mnuchin has previously said that he can get “50 million payments out very quickly” noting that the first payments could come within a week of a bill passing. In our scenario, that means the first round of payments could go out as early as the week of October 26. But, this is all contingent on a deal being agreed to this week.
Any further delay pushes the timeline back further, as CNET laid out on Sunday.
How Much Can You Expect From Next Stimulus Check?
This question appears the easiest to answer as lawmakers from both sides have proposed a check worth up to $1,200 for individuals in the next round of stimulus payments.
In the HEROES Act passed by Democrats last week, individuals taxpayers with an annual adjusted gross income (AGI) of up to $75,000 would receive a $1,200 stimulus payment. The number would continue to decrease as an individual’s AGI approached $99,000. The same formula would apply to married taxpayers, who would receive $2,400 for an AGI up to $150,000. That amount would fall toward zero as AGI approached $198,000.
If you’re wondering exactly how much your family could receive in a stimulus check, CNET has put together a stimulus check calculator.
All in all, while there appears to be some progress towards a deal, there are still several key issues for the two sides to iron out.