Summer is over, but the clock is still ticking on a new stimulus deal.
And while another coronavirus relief package is already overdue — with the jobless benefits of March’s massive package having expired at the end of July — an urgent race to a second check truly begins starting next week.
On Monday, Sept. 14, the House of Representatives is scheduled to reconvene from a summer recess.
In October, lawmakers are set to leave Washington in preparation for Election Day.
The Sept. 14 return of House representatives, then, leaves a small window for Congress to find middle ground on another stimulus check.
The bill included stop-gap measures including assistance to colleges and schools, a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses, assistance for unemployed workers, expanded COVID-19 testing and child care assistance.
The proposed bill, however, does not include a second direct payment of $1,200 to Americans.
Talks hammering out the details on another Covid-19 relief package have long been stalled between Senate Majority MItch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House.
In late August, the White House came up from its proposed $1 trillion package to $1.3 trillion.
House Democrats had previously come down to $2.2 trillion, from their original $3.4 trillion proposal in May.
While the new offer brought Democrats and Republicans closer than ever — with a $900 billion gap between proposals — the prospect of another major stimulus package including direct payments to Americans is still uncertain.