Senators expect coronavirus stimulus bill this week, but without checks

Despite months of negotiations, lawmakers have been unable to come up with a stimulus package. Now, with just three weeks left until the end of the year, it seems we might finally see a package. A bipartisan group of Senators said Sunday that details about the next coronavirus stimulus package, which may not include checks, could come early this week.

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New proposal coming this week

On Sunday, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia told CNN that they are close to an agreement, and the proposal could come this week, possibly Monday. Warner is part of the bipartisan group of senators who first introduced the plan earlier this month.

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“I think we have got the top line numbers done. We are working right now on language so that we can have — as early as tomorrow — a piece of legislation,” he said.

Further, Warner informed that it would be a four-month emergency relief package costing about $908 billion. It isn’t clear for now if Congress will agree to vote on such a package or not. This is because both Democrats and Republicans have different demands when it comes to the stimulus package.

Republicans are in favor of a targeted relief package costing about $500 billion, while Democrats want a bigger package, costing about $2.2 trillion. Warner, however, told CNN that he has “pretty high assurance” that the proposal would get enough votes.

Talking about what the bill would include, Warner said it would include unemployment relief, rental assistance, relief for people in food insecurity, funds for small businesses and minority businesses.

“We put additional assistance in finally for broadband, which we all know is an academic necessity and additional dollars around the vaccine distribution; assistance for hospitals,” he said.

This bill, however, doesn’t include the highly-anticipated $1,200 stimulus checks.

Coronavirus stimulus checks: what do Senators say?

Other senators also talked about a bill coming out this week. Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana told Fox News that the final language of the bill would “probably come out early this week — earlier this week.”

Sen. Joe Manchin also made similar comments on Sunday, saying a deal could come this week. “Well it’s a deal that must come together. We don’t have a choice now. It’s one of those things that has to be done,” Manchin told NBC.

Cassidy also talked about the missing stimulus check, saying such a concession was required to get the support of the conservatives in Congress. However, Cassidy assured that there may still be stimulus checks “but that would be part of a different piece of legislation.”

Some lawmakers, on the other hand, are in support of stimulus checks. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on Thursday, tweeted in favor of the checks. “COVID relief needs to directly help everyday people. People need stimulus checks & UI,” she tweeted.

Sen. Josh Hawley also said that he won’t support a package that doesn’t include stimulus checks.

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