- While Trump said that stimulus talks should end immediately, that doesn’t mean another $1,200 check is off the table.
- Both Senate Republicans and House Democrats have brought forward second stimulus plans, but none have been signed into law.
- Trump’s recent comments decrease the likelihood of a speedy resolution resulting in a round of $1,200 payments being sent out before the election.
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On Tuesday, President Donald Trump sent out a series of tweets instructing his team to cease stimulus negotiations until after the election.
Trump said the Senate should instead focus on confirming his Supreme Court pick, Amy Coney Barrett.
Meanwhile, Americans who had been following the monthslong stimulus negotiations, hoping that a resolution would be reached before the election, could only watch as the news affected the stock market and questions swirled.
To bring you up to speed on the latest, we’ve recapped what it all means for those hoping for another round of direct payments sooner rather than later — and summarized the timeline that led up to this point.
What it all means for a 2nd round of $1,200 direct payments
In short, the likelihood of a further delay in any new rounds of direct payments just increased.
While the promise of a second check is not dead yet, the road toward a speedy resolution just took a hard left turn. Unless Trump switches to supporting a deal instead of a pause on negotiations, any timeline toward a deal that would result in direct payments has likely been extended even further.
So how did we get here? For those looking to understand how this all fits into the broader events of the past seven months, here are the key developments leading up to the president’s statements on Tuesday.
On March 25, the Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which provided funds for personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, loans for small businesses, and supplemental unemployment benefits. The $1,200 stimulus checks and extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits were a result of the bill.
On July 31, the benefits lapsed without a follow-up deal, and the $600-a-week payments ended amid fierce disagreements between Republicans and Democrats. The $1,200 checks had been sent out, and recipients may have already used the funds.
On August 8, Trump allocated $44 billion to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for grants that would allow states to continue to pay out a weekly unemployment benefit if they applied for grant money. Every state besides South Dakota applied for the funds.
Negotiations around a follow-up deal continued. Both House Democrats and Republicans brought forward various plans, but they failed to reach a deal by the beginning of the month.
On September 8, Republicans proposed a stimulus package with a $300-a-week added unemployment benefit through December 27, though it excluded second round of direct payments. Democrats blocked the bill, saying it was insufficient.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the plan, saying, “Senate Republicans appear dead set on another bill which doesn’t come close to addressing the problems and is headed nowhere.”
Negotiations between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin restarted, and he later said no bill would pass without another $1,200 check included.
On October 1, House Democrats passed a plan that would include another $1,200 check, and a $600-a-week added unemployment benefit through January. The plan faced an uncertain future, though, as it would still require Senate approval.
This brings us to Tuesday night, when Trump said any and all stimulus talks should end immediately but that he would sign a stand-alone bill for another round of $1,200 checks.
The instructions made the status of the negotiations between Pelosi and Mnuchin uncertain.