Congress gets another chance to break the gridlock over a deadlocked stimulus bill when they reconvene for a short period beginning on Monday.
The return to Washington will end before Christmas, and part of that time will be spent trying to circumvent a government shutdown before December 11.
The $2 trillion Cares Act expired in July and the parties have been divided since on how much to spend on another stimulus, and where to spend it.
- Democrats want a $2.2 trillion package that contains $600 a week in unemployment benefits agreed to in the first relief bill, as well as a second round of $1,200 payments for ordinary Americans.
- It also covers aid to small businesses, and state and local government agencies struggling under the increased cost of the coronavirus.
- Republicans call for a small $500 billion focused on small businesses and an increase in public health funding.
- Republicans have not included a $1200 stimulus check.
Trump has been focused on the “rigged” election but has previously called for a “big and focused” relief bill. Biden is calling for the expansive proposal of the Democrats.
According to the Associated Press, key sticking points “appear to be Pelosi’s demand for state and local government aid and McConnell’s demand for a liability shield for businesses reopening during the pandemic.”
Particularly vulnerable is the restaurant industry.