Congress to Consider 2nd Stimulus Check, Jobless Aid

House and Senate are back in session with unemployment benefits about to expire
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2020 8:49 AM CDT
Congress to Consider 2nd Stimulus Check, Jobless Aid
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Congress returns to session on Monday, and one issue will be dominating the headlines on that front in the coming days: a second round of aid for COVID-19. As NPR notes, supplemental unemployment benefits of $600 per week that Congress approved four months ago for tens of millions of Americans are about to expire, and lawmakers will have to decide whether to extend them. Another big decision: whether Americans will receive a second stimulus check. Much is up in the air on that, including how much it would be and who would qualify this time around, reports CNET. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said lawmakers will be "looking at another direct payment," though he said the focus should be on those making less than $40,000, per MassLive.

Also on the line: whether to extend federal eviction protections, set to expire at the end of July, reports Politico. Republicans are considering an overall package of about $1 trillion, but Democrats want more, per the Hill. Both McConnell and Nancy Pelosi say they will work out a deal, but bipartisan negotiations on the particulars have not begun.The deadline is tight—the House is scheduled to break for its August recess at the end of the month, and the Senate will break a week later. Meanwhile, the White House was still working out its own priorities with Republicans. “It's not going to be a White House plan, it’s going to be us working with the Senate," says Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin. (The White House reportedly doesn't want to include money for testing or contact tracing.)

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