Second Stimulus Check Hopes Fading As One in Five Fear Congress Won't Reach Deal

With continued failure to reach bipartisan agreement on a further stimulus package many believe Congress will never agree upon a deal for more spending to combat the impact of COVID-19 upon the economy.

While Democrats and Republicans have each put across proposals, negotiations to agree upon an action plan which both sides could support through Congress proved futile.

In a recent YouGov/The Economist poll, 20 percent of 1,500 adults asked from August 16 to 18 said they thought another package would never be passed by both chambers. On the other end of the scale, 5 percent said in the next week, while the most common answers were within the next month or within the next two months, both on 26 percent.

Democrats have pushed their package, the HEROES Act, with a budget of around $3 trillion while the GOP outlined its desire to cap spending on proposals at around $1 trillion.

Democratic figureheads House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) were locked in negotiations with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows earlier this month, with talks in the end finishing with no agreement.

The Democrats suggested they could compromise down to a $2 trillion spend, though said negotiators on the other side would not budge. In a counter offer, the White House suggested moving in a piecemeal fashion, pushing through measures each side agreed with while moving to tackle contentious issues—though this suggestion did not gain traction with their counterparts.

In an interview with MSNBC on Monday, Pelosi said: "They don't want to put the amount of money needed to crush the virus and that is the threshold."

store closure
A person wears a protective face mask outside a store in New York City on August 7, 2020. The COVID-19 crisis has caused economic turmoil nationwide. Noam Galai/Getty Images

President Donald Trump signed several executive orders following the stalemate, though these have been criticized as being insufficient.

With lawmakers having left Washington for the August recess, the chance of agreement on a deal is further delayed.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking in Georgetown, Kentucky, on Monday, said he had not given up hope on securing a deal despite the stalling talks.

While there have been suggestions members of Congress could be called back to vote on a deal, if one were struck, the party conventions look likely to delay any such prospect.

Newsweek has contacted Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell and the White House for comment in regards to the chances of a further stimulus package.

Amid the wrangling, Americans have been focused on matters such as enhanced unemployment benefits and whether another round of stimulus checks will be forthcoming.

In another poll, it was found that many Americans had seen their savings depleted amid the pandemic despite the previous intervention with stimulus checks and unemployment enhancement.

People have previously expressed their desire for a further round of checks, stating they are necessary for paying essential outgoings.

There has been bipartisan agreement on stimulus checks, but other factors have caused disagreement.

Unemployment enhancement is one point, with the Democrats wanting to continue a boost of $600 each week that the CARES Act had provided. The Republicans alternatively want to go to a lower rate of $200 per week before then switching to replacing around 70 percent of a claimants previous wage.

The coronavirus crisis continues to impact worldwide, with case numbers still rising. In the United States, there have been more than 5.7 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.

The graphic below, from Statista, shows the nations with the most confirmed cases as of August 24.

covid-19 cases world

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