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Stimulus update: What the new Senate vote means for extra unemployment and 2nd checks

On Wednesday, the Senate voted on a new “skinny” stimulus package for coronavirus relief, which is not to be confused with last month’s failed “skinny” stimulus bill. This one included more weekly unemployment benefits, as well as $100 billion for schools. Here’s the latest update on what’s happening with the long-stalled coronavirus relief efforts on Capitol Hill:

DID THE SKINNY BILL PASS?

Nope. 51-44. It needed 60 votes.

WAS IT EXPECTED TO PASS?

Nope. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the bill “emaciated” and said it was a pre-election stunt by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for optics. We are now less than two weeks from elections.

IS THERE HOPE FOR A BILL BEFORE ELECTION DAY?

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, and Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, seem to think so. They’re deep in negotiations, homing in on a roughly $2 trillion bill—which is substantially more than Republicans want, and substantially less than Democrats want. Both Pelosi and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows describe the situation as “optimistic.” Meadows hopes to have a deal in the next two days.

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