The race was called out for Warnock on Wednesday morning and hours later for Ossoff as Washington DC struggled with a crowdand halted the procedural count of the electoral vote taking place in the Senate.
Warnock and Ossoff’s wins predict an easier time to approve a new stimulus check of up to $ 2,000, an amount that some in Congress tried and failed in late 2020.continue to be sent, is expected to push for a new stimulus bill once he takes office in a few weeks, one with a third stimulus check. Many Republican Senate leaders are increasingly unwilling to consider more direct aid by the end of 2020. Here’s what you need to know about how the new Congress could contribute to a third stimulus check.
2 ways the Senate majority can shape the next incentive check
As a Democrat, Biden’s path to approval of economic aid – including a third check – is predicted to go much smoother if Democrats also hold both houses of Congress this year. In the new Congress sworn in this week, Democrats will have a narrow majority in the House of Representatives.
If Democrats are sworn into both disputed Senate seats, as planned, the party will rule the room by a hair. It would have 50 seats – 48 Democrats and two independents consulting with the party – with Vice President Kamala Harris having the power to cut ties. A democratic majority could make it easier to push for a draw instead of a two-thirds majority.
Perhaps more importantly, a majority leader in the Democratic Senate would have the power to vote on bills, including those favored by Biden and fellow Democrats. Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposed raising payments from $ 600 to $ 2,000 in the closing days of the current Congress, as well as a larger stimulus package. On January 1, he refused to put a $ 2,000 incentive bill passed in the House to vote in the Senate, quashing the bill’s likelihood of passing before the new Congress took its place.
Stimulus control is popular and expensive
In the days leading up to the Jan. 5 second round, the two unsuccessful Republican candidates, Kelly Loeffler and David Purdue, both supported the $ 2,000 stimulus checks that Trump backed. While the Senate didn’t vote on the $ 2,000 checks, one thing is known: the incentive checks add up.
The IRS said it spent about $ 270 billion last year to send 160 million stimulus vouchers in the first round, but it’s likely that once catch-up payments are added, the total number will be closer to $ 300 billion. Many economists have argued that now is not the time to keep federal spending in check as the economy is struggling to get back on its feet. Instead, the federal government should try to send more aid to support the economy.
For tens of millions of taxpayers, the majority of the, a quarter of which is going towards savings, according to a Census Bureau survey this summer. With Biden’s warning, the country faces a “dark winter” – facing a spike in coronavirus cases in the US and an economy that continues to lose jobs – a second check would likely yield similar applications.
However, as of this summer, some Republicans in Congress have refused to fund major aid packages as the US deficit has risen. “We have limited resources,” Republican Senator John Thune said on Jan. 1, objecting to the Senate’s approval of a $ 2,000 payment. “This is borrowed money.”
Regardless of the senate’s new democratic leadership, the party split will remain so close that Biden will have to deal with a divided congress anyway. He will most likely do what every president has done and look for areas where the two sides can find common ground.
Implementing a new sweeping stimulus package could be even more difficult if Republicans support tighter spending in 2021 and beyond, but smaller aid proposals addressing specific needs, such as an increase in the minimum wage or astrongly focused on the most deprived – could find broader bipartisan support.
While we wait for the Biden administration, here’s when you can , now that it has been approved, and .