The first step toward a possible compromise on a second round of federal stimulus money is in the works. But there’s still a ways to go before the money starts flowing to the unemployed.
A conversation Thursday between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows produced no results, with Pelosi vowing to hold fast to the $2 trillion level. Republicans previously said they wanted the stimulus to be no more than $1 trillion, and cited loads of pork in the Dems proposal.
However, on Friday, Meadows told reporters that Trump “is willing to sign something at $1.3 trillion,” which would indicate some movement toward a compromise with Democrats.
Some states have signed up to receive an unemployment boost supported by money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The funding would grant an additonal four weeks of federal unemployment estimated at $300. However, states must adjust their systems to accommodate the FEMA funding, and that could take a long time before the cash flows.
The Thursday call between Pelosi and Meadows was the first discussion on the stimulus package since August 7. The federal unemployment boost of $600 ran out at the end of July, leaving many families in dire straits, particularly as September and the rent/mortgage payments for the month loom.
The Senate is adjourned until Sept. 7, while the House is out until Sept. 14. However, if the leaders can compromise, both legislative bodies can be recalled in 24 hours.
It is possible that Republicans can pass a stimulus bill without Democrats. The stimulus would be smaller than the proposed $1.3 trillion, but would include a federal unemployment boost of $300 per week to state benefits. The bill would include small business loans and more money for coronavirus testing, as well as school funding and $10 billion for the Post Office. The package would not include another $1,200 stimulus check that the first stimulus contained.
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