GOP COVID relief bill fails in Senate: What are the next steps for stimulus check and package?


A Republican-fronted “skinny” coronavirus relief bill failed to pass the Senate in a 52-47 vote Thursday. Could Congress still pass a new stimulus bill that includes a second stimulus check and other critical relief programs to help buoy Americans looking for work, fund struggling businesses and enact widespread COVID testing?

“We have been in a challenging period,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday, according to The Hill. “I wish I could tell you we were going to get another package but it doesn’t look that good right now.”

“The Senate Republican bill provides nothing for rent, nothing for mortgages, nothing for food, nothing for hazard pay, nothing for health care, nothing for public transportation,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said on the Senate floor Friday, adding that Americans need $2,000 per month “until this crisis is over.”

So with divisions as deep as these, what happens now? We’ve identified five possible scenarios. This story is updated often.


A single large relief bill is back on the table… sometime

Formal talks for the overarching bill have yet to restart, but the Senate has returned from recess this week and the House of Representatives gets back to work next week, after passing the USPS bill during the break. The total cost of the bill is the root disagreement. The White House has hinted it could go up to $1.5 trillion, while the Democrats have come down from their initial $3 trillion proposal to $2.2 trillion, so there has been incremental progress. (The failed skinny bill was estimated at between $300 billion and $650 billion.)

The prognosis of another stimulus bill closing before the presidential election fluctuates from day to day. Tuesday optimism has now yielded to doom and gloom on Friday, and anything could happen until the election. On the campaign trail — digital or in person — it’s expected that the leadership’s coronavirus response will take center stage for candidates at all levels, increasing the political pressure to pass the next wave of aid or at least formulate a failsafe plan.

Here, we present a speculative timeline of dates for when we could see a relief bill passed if talks do resume next week. It draws from Congressional voting schedules and the potential of postponing a planned recess or the House returning early to pass a bill…Read more>>



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