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'Either way we'll do something': Washington pins hope on stimulus negotiations reboot post election

The period after the election and before the inauguration, known as "lame-duck" is now seen as the best chance to get a COVID-19 relief bill passed.


Bắn cá koiCongress and the White House have officially moved back the goalposts on the next coronavirus relief bill.

Angela Lang/CNET

US leaders of all stripes are now eyeing the "lame-duck" period after the election and before the inauguration of the next presidential term to restart negotiations over COVID-19 relief aid and pass another stimulus bill. Exactly what form that stimulus funding takes -- a brawny package that includes a second stimulus check, or a standalone bill with extended unemployment aid, for example -- remains an open question and ripe ground for future conflict.

"The motivation level on both sides will depend on how the election comes out, but I think either way we'll do something," Senate Republican Whip John Thune told . "The question is how much."

President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have also said they want to usher through a stimulus bill in the lame duck period, the president promising "," seemingly based on the condition that he'll win and that the House of Representatives and Senate have Republican majorities. A mirror opposite, Pelosi  that former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will win, and passing a sweeping bill before the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20 will provide a "clean slate." 

"First and foremost, the American people need help. They need real help," Pelosi said.

With the the Nov. 3 election just four days away, coronavirus cases and a third of US counties , COVID-19 aid is seen as necessary to help bolster an uncertain economy and help individual families prepare for a winter surge in cases experts . Without more federal stimulus aid, state budgets could , according to a report from .

However, committing to passing a bill before inauguration is one thing. In a bitter process that's been seven months in the making without seeing more stimulus aid, doing it will be another.

Now playing: Watch this: Next stimulus checks: What to expect

Bắn cá koiThe period between Nov. 4 and Jan. 19 is a notorious dead zone when it comes to passing new legislation, with the exception of emergency measures like avoiding a . 

Depending on who wins, the current government may be more motivated to pass a bill before January -- or not. It's unclear what might happen if the results of the election were to shift the political majorities of the House of Representatives and the Senate. 

An earlier passage would mean that Secretary Treasury Steven Mnuchin, who represents the Republican White House administration in stimulus talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi representing the Democrats, could send the first stimulus checks within a week of a bill being signed into law,  in August.

Read moreYou don't have to be a US citizen living in American to get a stimulus check

"We'll come back in November. The question might be, will there be something then?" Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alabama, said on Monday, . The Senate is now in recess until after the election. A bill is said to go through this committee before reaching a vote.

What happens now, and how could it affect Americans and the economy? Here's what we know today. We update this story with new information when it's available.


Democrats and Republicans have disagreed on how much relief aid should be included in the stimulus package. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

These 4 things could happen after the Nov. 3 election

Here are some possible scenarios that could play out over the coming weeks.

A White House offer is completed after Nov. 3: An agreement is made and the current House and Senate vote. If Trump signs it into law, stimulus checks and other aid would likely begin to go out within weeks, with certain groups receiving financial help before the end of 2020.

A White House offer is finalized and fails in the Senate: In this situation, the House could vote on a deal after the election, but the current Senate, which is Republican-led, could vote it down, so the bill would not become law. In this case, Congress might try again after the next members of the .

Some funding could be included in a bill that also funds the government past Dec 11: It's possible that one piece of funding, for example a stimulus check, unemployment aid or an extension of the eviction stayBắn cá koi, could make it into a bill to keep the government funded past Dec. 11 and .

Talks stop until after the election results are inBắn cá koi: If talks grind to a halt after the election, it's likely they'll restart in some capacity after the inauguration in January. that if Trump loses the election and if the Senate loses its majority, there will be little incentive for Congress to pass a sweeping package until 2021 during the transition.

To help visualize when a bill could pass, we've come up with five possible dates, both before and after the November election. If a bill does pass that includes a direct payment, here's how quickly we think the IRS could send a second stimulus check.

When could a stimulus bill or package pass?

House votes Senate votes President signs
Nov. 9 (Senate back from recess)
Nov. 10 (If House returns early from recess) Nov. 12 (Nov. 11 is Veteran's Day)
Nov. 16 (House back in session) Nov. 17
Nov. 18
Nov. 23
Nov. 24
Nov. 25
Dec. 11 Dec. 12 Dec. 13
Feb. 1, 2021 Feb. 2, 2021 Feb. 3, 2021

How the House's stimulus bill from early October plays a role

On Oct. 1, the House of Representatives passed a revised Heroes Act that includes a second stimulus check and additional benefits such as enhanced unemployment benefitsBắn cá koi for tens of millions of Americans. The new House bill, endorsed primarily by Democrats, was not expected to advance through the Republican-controlled Senate, and indeed has not.

Bắn cá koiHowever, it provides the framework Pelosi is working from, and could figure into future negotiations, depending on election results that could potentially shift the balance one way or another.

Bắn cá koiThe vote was thought to provide cover for House Democrats as they campaign without a new relief bill, much as the Senate did earlier in September for Republican members with . 

What do Democrats and Republicans agree on?

Proposals from  another stimulus payment of up to $1,200 for individuals who meet the requirements, among topics like aid for airlines, enhanced unemployment insurance and extending the Paycheck Protection Program for businesses. 

Bắn cá koiAlthough the Senate's targeted bills, which did not advance, did not include stimulus checks, Republicans (including those in the Senate) have supported them. 

Here are more details on the biggest points of contentionBắn cá koi between the White House Republicans and the Democrats.

For more information about stimulus checks, here's how soon you might get your second stimulus check now and what to know about the HEALS, CARES and HeroesBắn cá koi stimulus bill proposals that could help inform a final package.