An estimated 160 million people voted in Tuesday’s election, with mail-in ballots still being counted across the US. Whenever they’re finalized, the results might have a big impact on issues like the Supreme Court, the shape of economic recovery and the path of negotiations to pass a sorely needed economic relief bill.
The final makeup of seats in the House of Representatives and Senate, plus the office of the presidency itself, could heavily influence whether that stimulus package contains a new stimulus check of up to $1,200 for eligible adults and a bonus for their dependents, plus a wide range of other funding, including more weekly unemployment benefits. (Here’s every benefit that dries up Dec. 31 if there’s no more aid.)
Here are six major ways that the results of the election might impact a second stimulus payment, which we detail below. This story was recently updated.
Election results could decide when a new bill comes together
How eager Democratic and Republican negotiators are to reboot talks and hammer out an agreement on a new stimulus proposal could have everything to do with who wins what. Who becomes president and which party takes control of the House of Representatives and the Senate could motivate legislators to either strike a deal soon or wait for next year.
“The motivation level on both sides will depend on how the election comes out,” said Senate Republican Whip John Thune, The Hill reported Oct. 30.
The majority party could keep or axe the stimulus check
If Democrats win both chambers of Congress plus the White House, a new stimulus package could look very different from one that required bipartisan support. For example, a large package could pass a Democratic-controlled Congress that included a new stimulus check, money for testing and school reopening and the like. Or, with a split Congress, a much narrower bill to bring targeted aid to programs considered critical could make it through before the inauguration, which might mean that a separate stimulus package could potentially come in early 2021. Right now we have to wait and see…Read more>>