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Congressional Contradictions in Ongoing COVID Stimulus Negotiations

As we approach flu season during the Coronavirus pandemic talk of a second stimulus check has increased. Congress is back in session, and debating how much, who would be included, and when a
second stimulus check would be released to eligible American citizens.

The rescue package has strong bipartisan support, and according to CNBC, Nancy Pelosi said “We are committed to staying here until we have an agreement that meets the needs of the American people,” regarding how long Congress will remain in session before the holiday break.

It is unlikely that Congress will be able to come to a timely agreement with the 2020 Presidential Election looming and the death of esteemed Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

There are still a number of eligible, approved stimulus check applicants who have yet to receive their stimulus package. As debates regarding a second stimulus package continue, frustration with the existing negligence in the March CARES Act creates increased dissatisfaction among the American public.

With such strong bipartisan support, the second stimulus check seems to be the best way to address the American peoples’ needs as this potential second round of Coronavirus threatens. However, contradictions and confusion in D.C. have stalled the progression of this decisive act.

A $1.5 Trillion stimulus has been proposed by a bipartisan caucus dubbed “The Problem Solvers”, but the proposal seems unlikely to advance. Thus far, Democrats have pushed for increased protections and widening eligibility for the American people, with Nancy Pelosi standing firm at her original proposal of a $2.2 trillion package.

Congressional Republicans offered a slimmer package with a $1.1 Trillion relief fund including unemployment benefits, Paycheck Protection Programs for small businesses, school funding and liability shield measures, but no stimulus check.

Meanwhile, President Donald J. Trump recently urged Republicans to “Go for much higher numbers”, because the American people “desperately need the money”, despite “They [Democrats] don’t want to give stimulus payments”. These comments appear to contradict the position his party is taking, as well as the Democrats’ push for increased funding, in the negotiations of the COVID-19 stimulus package.

Regardless of petty politics, the American people need this stimulus check. According to a survey by the National Bureau of Economic Research, 15% of receivers of the stimulus check spent it on regular expenses, 33% devoted it to a savings fund, and a whopping 52% used it to pay down existing or occurred debt related to the Coronavirus. Congress must work to take a unified stance to pass this new
stimulus package.

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