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There’s a long-shot effort underway to make a new stimulus bill happen

Published Sep 15th, 2020 12:47PM EDT
New stimulus check
Image: Roman Lipovskiy/Adobe

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  • A new long-shot plan to salvage a stimulus deal in Congress (that would also provide most Americans with a new stimulus check) is being attempted.
  • The House of Representative’s Problem Solvers Caucus is working on the plan, which would cost almost $2 trillion — far above what Republican lawmakers seem willing to spend right now.
  • The new stimulus plan’s benefits include aid to state and local governments, new unemployment assistance, and extra funding for the postal service.

Well, you learn something new every day. Most us are aware that there are groups of congressional lawmakers who band together as thematic caucuses focused on practically any subject you could think of — there’s everything from an arts caucus to the Congressional Black Caucus to a medical technology caucus, with lawmakers therein having a particular focus on those subject matters. But I daresay many of you might not have been aware, as I wasn’t, that there’s also a House of Representatives “Problem Solvers Caucus,” because … I mean … where have you guys been, right? At any rate, this bipartisan group of House lawmakers is trying to solve the ultimate problem — bringing a new stimulus bill to fruition that includes badly needed support for the US economy amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as well as funding that would give most Americans a new stimulus check.

The caucus’ nearly $2 trillion plan would also provide money for small business loans intended to last through at least early next year, as well as more unemployment aid. Make no mistake though. Most news coverage about this last-ditch effort to salvage some kind of stimulus, at least as of Tuesday morning, was still couching it as a long-shot with the only chance of passage falling somewhere between slim and none.

As Politico notes about the plan, this push that’s being led by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-New Jersey) and Tom Reed (R-New York), will no doubt run into a brick wall of opposition in the GOP-led Senate. That’s where the priority for new stimulus shifted to putting a cap on the price tag for any new legislation, with the most recent Republican stimulus plan in the Senate costing about $650 billion (a far cry from this new plan’s nearly $2 trillion price tag).

This new stimulus plan is also full of benefits that will send Republicans into fits — for example, half a trillion dollars in aid to state and local governments, as well as $15 billion for the postal service. Also, there’s funding to restart the extra $600/week in unemployment aid at a level of $450/week for two months, then bumping that back up to $600/week.

Our prediction from yesterday still stands, regardless of this new effort. More than likely, not only will no more stimulus checks be coming before the presidential election and possibly even for the rest of 2020, but there doesn’t seem enough joint, bipartisan interest in coming together to reach a new accord on an overall stimulus plan. Which is unfortunate, because the need is certainly as great as it’s ever been — and growing.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.