Stimulus checks and extra unemployment benefits unlikely until September as Senate goes on recess

August 13, 2020, 9:59 PM UTC

On Thursday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the chamber for recess until September 8.

That move comes as Democratic and Republican leaders remain deadlocked in their negations for a broad stimulus, which would include extended enhanced unemployment benefits and a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks. While McConnell said he’d bring senators back if a deal materializes, the move is the latest sign things aren’t progressing.

Last week Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer offered to come down from $3.4 trillion to $2.4 trillion, if Republicans came up $1 trillion to $2 trillion. That way, “we could begin to meet in the middle,” he said. Republican rejected that offer, and hours later Trump announced his executive orders and memorandums. Since then, the two parties have yet to negotiate again.

The White House reached out to restart negations with Democratic leaders on Wednesday, but that was rejected. On Thursday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters they won’t resume negations with Republicans until they come up to at least $2 trillion in coronavirus aid. Republicans still favor a $1 trillion price tag.

Differences between the parties remain on issues like funding for state and local governments (Democrats want more than a $1 trillion for it), and school funding (Republicans want more going to schools that open in-person). And Democrats still oppose a Republican proposal to provide COVID-19 lawsuit immunity to businesses and schools. However, both parties are in agreement about another round of $1,200 stimulus checks.

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