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Stimulus check and unemployment update: What’s the status of talks as McConnell preps ‘skinny’ bill

Mnuchin is in deep negotiations with Pelosi over a bill that would cost roughly $2 trillion, but McConnell is ditching them altogether.

Stimulus check and unemployment update: What’s the status of talks as McConnell preps ‘skinny’ bill
[Photo: NeONBRAND/Unsplash; wilhei/Pixabay]

Negotiations on the next stimulus bill continue to be a four-way street, and now three of the four power players are nearing a semi-agreement. Does this mean that coronavirus relief could finally be on the way? Here’s the latest update as we head into the weekend:

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Who is in agreement?

President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (I know, shocking.) Trump has done a 180 in recent days, coming out in support of a stimulus bill that is much larger than his party supports, and “higher” than the $1.8 trillion proposal recently forwarded by his own Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin. Democrats have long wanted a package that is somewhere between $2 trillion and $3.5 trillion bill.

Who is not on board?

Republicans. Mnuchin is in deep negotiations with Pelosi over a bill that would cost roughly $2 trillion. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is ditching them altogether, telling reporters on Thursday he would not bring a package that large to the floor. Next week he will reportedly try to pass a much slimmer $500 billion package through the Senate. And you already know what President Trump is doing. He said on Thursday that he’s “ready to sign a big beautiful stimulus package. I want it to big, I want it to be bold.”

What word best describes the state of negotiations?

Bananas.

Is there anything in these potential new bills for me?

Yes. A new round of stimulus checks (likely $1,200), as well as expanded unemployment (Republicans want $400 per week, Democrats want $600 per week). Business funding is also likely in there. All sides generally agree on these points. The ongoing disagreements largely involve state, local, and education funding.

What will happen next?

Watch for Mnuchin’s expected release of a new proposed stimulus bill on Friday, following a fruitful 90-minute negotiation with Pelosi on Thursday. And then watch McConnell paddle his own canoe into the Senate next week. Stay tuned.

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