Esto también se puede leer en español.

Leer en español

Don't show this again

The Mandalorian season 2 Apple One launch NASA's 'Greater Pumpkin' Spiders with legs that hear Google's Halloween Doodle game CDC on trick-or-treating risks Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin

Stimulus negotiations face a new war of wills: A relief package 'immediately' or in early 2021?

Will the next COVID-19 relief bill pass before the presidential inauguration in January, or after? The tug of war continues.

dollar-bills-cut-8466

Congress and the White House have officially moved back the goalposts on the next coronavirus relief bill.

Angela Lang/CNET

A new conflict is brewing over America's next stimulus package: when it should pass. "We will have a tremendous stimulus package immediately after the election," President Donald Trump said Friday to reporters, indicating that negotiators will resolve their differences on the stalled stimulus deal and vote on a bill well before the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration. Earlier in the week, Trump seemingly based his commitment on the condition that he'll win and that the House of Representatives and Senate have Republican majorities.

A mirror opposite, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday 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.

Throwing cold water on the optimism that a bill will pass sooner rather than later, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Friday that more aid should pass in January, which is two months away. 

"We probably need to do another package, certainly more modest than the $3 trillion dollar [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi package. I think that'll be something we'll need to do right at the beginning of the year," McConnell said on a radio show with conservative host Hugh Hewitt. "We could target it particularly at small businesses that are struggling, and hospitals that are now dealing with the second wave of the Coronavirus, and of course the challenges for education, both K-12 and college."

McConnell has long opposed the $1.9 trillion stimulus package that's stopped and started multiple times due to unresolved divisions between Pelosi, the Democratic negotiator and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who represents the White House administration. Although he has previously committed to bringing a deal to the Senate for a vote, Friday's statement hints that he could delay a vote among his Senate members until at least after the new term is sworn in Jan. 3. If McConnell remains Senate Majority Leader, he'll be able to set that agenda.

McConnell has also challenged the size and contents of the current proposal, which Trump has lavishly supported, at least in the abstract. Exactly what form the eventual 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 fertile ground for a future clash.

Now playing: Watch this: Next stimulus checks: What to expect
3:03

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. 

"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 Hill. "The question is how much."

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, he said in August.

With the the Nov. 3 election just days away, coronavirus cases hitting a daily record Thursday and a third of US counties seeing a record peak in the last week, 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 fear is coming. Without more federal stimulus aid, state budgets could fall short by as much as $434 billion through 2022, according to a report from Moody's Analytics.

The 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 US government shutdown on Dec. 11

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, Bloomberg reported. 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.

breaking-the-piggy-bank-stimulus-check-cash-money-savings-debt-personal-finance-032


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 House of Representatives and Senate convene Jan. 3, 2021.

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 stay, could make it into a bill to keep the government funded past Dec. 11 and avoid a shutdown.

Talks stop until after the election results are in: If talks grind to a halt after the election, it's likely they'll restart in some capacity after the inauguration in January. It's been speculated 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 benefits 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.

However, 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.

The 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 its $650 billion skinny bill

What do Democrats and Republicans agree on?

Proposals from both sides have included 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. 

Although 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 contention 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 Heroes stimulus bill proposals that could help inform a final package.