- A second set of $1,200 stimulus checks was one move both Republicans and Democrats agreed on until discussions fell apart.
- In order to get something done, Senate Republicans pushed for a smaller bill that excluded those checks.
- House Democrats reaffirmed their commitment to sending that relief in a hearing on Tuesday. It will require both parties to compromise before Americans would receive any of that money.
The stimulus stalemate has left lawmakers at odds over how to get more relief to millions of Americans who need it.
Earlier this month, Senate Republicans attempted to get a smaller bill through Congress as the standoff between both parties continued.
But that relief bill did not include a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks, a measure that both parties had all but signed off on. The bill failed to get the 60 votes it needed to advance.
Still, House Democrats pushed back on the stimulus check exclusion on Tuesday during a congressional hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“The economic impact payments must be made because the rent must be paid,” said Rep. Al Green, D-Texas.
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“If we do not do this, we will put persons at risk of being evicted at a time when we are having a pandemic that is still taking lives in this country,” he said.
Green also said a new Government Accountability Office report that found the Treasury Department does not have adequate data on the number of people who qualify for the first stimulus checks, but who have not yet received them, is cause for concern.
The number excluded, including gig workers, could be in the millions, he said. The IRS is in the process of mailing letters to about 9 million Americans to notify them that they may be eligible for the money.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., also spoke out about the prospect of a second round of payments, asking Mnuchin, “Yes or no, do you believe another stimulus check could help stabilize the economy?”
“I do,” Mnuchin said. “The administration does support another stimulus payment.”
The likelihood and timing of that money still remains unclear. House Democrats and Senate Republicans had both put forward proposals that included a second round of direct payments. Other issues, however, have made it impossible for both sides to come to an agreement, at least for now.
“We obviously can’t pass a bill in the Senate without bipartisan support,” Mnuchin said. “Our job is to continue to work