I wish to know the timeline of the current US funding bill.
December 30, 2020 6:55 AM   Subscribe

CW: politics. I wish to know the timeline of the current US funding bill containing the $600/$2000 hullabaloo.

I'm in an argument with a redhat.. It was my understanding that the current bill originated with a $600/$1200 payment to citizens. Then I heard that the asshole wanted it to be $2000/$4000. Then I saw that House Democrats wrote the amendment to the bill changing all references of $600/$1200 to $2000/$4000. THEN I heard that the original draft written by democrats already contained $2000/$4000 payments, but the asshole threw a fit so they changed it back, then he threw a later fit and then the House amended it. There's so much going on just in this story, not to mention everything else, I can't find sources for much of this, if the individual pieces do in fact fit together.
posted by Evilspork to Law & Government (9 answers total)
 
The Consolidated Appropriations Act is HR 133, signed by the President on December 27. (Congress.gov has it listed in some places as “United States-Mexico Economic Partnership Act”, which might have been the original shell they built the bill on.)

$600/$1200 is in section 6728A on page 1966.

The $2000 bill is HR9051, the “CASH Act of 2020”, which would change the text of the just-enacted law to say $2000 and $4000 instead of $600 and $1200. It passed the House on December 28 and is in the Senate, where its prospects are cloudy.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:28 AM on December 30, 2020 [4 favorites]


As I understand the timeline, it's more like:

* Current bill was presented to Darth Cheeto with the $600/$1200 payment. The Democrats very likely DID aim higher; in fact, they very likely proposed a second payment like the one we got earlier this year. But Republicans (predominantly people like Mitch McConnell) said nope, and that payout got scaled back to $600/$1200.

* Darth Cheeto said "no, the bill should be $2000/$4000 payout to citizens."

* Democrats in Congress grinned real big and said "oh, we're just fine with that, actually". AOC co-wrote an amendment to add that to the bill so it would be ready and waiting if they needed it, depending on how things shook down. The rest of the Democrats then turned to smile at Mitch McConnell and said "So, what do you think of that suggestion, Mr. Senate Majority Leader Sir?"

* Then Darth Cheeto signed the bill anyway.

* However, AOC had that amendment already, so the House met to say "hang on now, it sounds like the president wants to raise the payout, and we just so happen to have an amendment to that effect right here. What say we all vote on it?"

* That amendment passed the house. But when it got to the Senate, Mitch McConnell basically put out a "closed for the holidays" sign on the Senate door; he hasn't said "no" outright, the most I've seen him say so far is that he will not call a special session to vote on that amendment.

So long story short - the original bill, as presented to the president, was only $600/$1200, but not because the president said to make it that low. It was that low because Republican Congressmen made it that low. So when Trump let fly with one of his usual wild-card whims, the Democrats jumped on the chance to hang Mitch McConnell out to dry.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:11 AM on December 30, 2020 [4 favorites]


Just as a heads-up, the way these payments work is the bill “amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986”, which is the tax code, to do whatever. So if they need to go back and change something, they don’t have to like pull the bill back from the President and re-work it (which they can’t really do anyway once it’s passed both houses); they just need to both pass a new bill to amend that part of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 again.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:20 AM on December 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


It was my understanding that the current bill originated with a $600/$1200 payment to citizens.

Yup. Vox.com explainer. The $600 was arrived at by negotiations between the Dem-controlled House, the R-controlled Senate, and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin (supposedly acting on behalf of the White House & Trump.) It passed in the House (the house of Congress that originates money matters) Monday Dec. 21. The next step would be consideration of and voting in the Senate.

Then I heard that the asshole wanted it to be $2000/$4000

Yup. He Tweeted a video address @ 7:15 pm Dec 22. (CW: Trump)

Then I saw that House Democrats wrote the amendment to the bill changing all references of $600/$1200 to $2000/$4000.

More or less. As Huffy Puffy says, this was the CASH Act, initiated by Dems because they control the House. 44 House Republicans did vote for it, and it passed in the House. Vox.com explainer.

THEN I heard that the original draft written by democrats already contained $2000/$4000 payments, but the asshole threw a fit so they changed it back

Not sure what this is. I think this would be referring to the HEROES Act and the HEALS Act, which were further relief bills introduced by the House in May and July, respectively. These both would have included $1200/$2400 direct payments. McConnell refused to bring any version of either of these to the Senate for consideration, so they never passed. Technically different bills, but a lot of ink/bytes have been spilled pointing out that the Dems have been asking for more pandemic relief for months.

I wish to know the timeline of the current US funding bill

The $2000 bump is currently being considered in the Senate. Highly doubtful it will pass, but both parties are doing some procedural jockeying for better PR. CNN.com on where things sit at this moment.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:21 AM on December 30, 2020 [3 favorites]


So long story short - the original bill, as presented to the president, was only $600/$1200, but not because the president said to make it that low. It was that low because Republican Congressmen made it that low.

This is true, but also keep in mind that Trump doesn't have a history of being shy about what he wants and could easily have thrown his fit before the $600/$1200 Senate bill was passed, while it was still in the process of being shaped (or worked with senators behind the scenes like normal presidents would do). So any narrative about Trump being the fighting savior of the working class needs to take that into account.
posted by trig at 8:33 AM on December 30, 2020 [2 favorites]


The President's issue is not the $600/$2000 in a vacuum. He has an issue with the billions in foreign aid going out before we fully take care of those at home. He suggested the $2000 be paid for by reducing foreign aid in the continuing bill. The Dems only heard the $2,000 part.

The original $600 was the amount that the bipartisan group of Congresspeople proposed as a way out of the stalemate. Previously, Pelosi had failed to agree to a much larger bill bc of what she described as waiting until after the election. That appears to have been a miscalculation. Even though her man Biden won the Presidency, the Dems lost house seats and will have a slimmer majority come January making it harder to pass bills. The senate is still Republican and while not a given, the odds are that it will remain in Rep hands after the runoff in Georgia. The time to make a deal is now. McConnel is being pressured to allow for a vote on the $2,000. I think he will allow it to come up for a vote ultimately, but I think they will try to compromise with some reductions elsewhere to pay for it.
posted by AugustWest at 9:59 AM on December 30, 2020


He has an issue with the billions in foreign aid going out before we fully take care of those at home

No. The billions in foreign aid he supposedly has a problem with are in the budget proposal - which funds the government and is only paired with the relief bill because the Republicans stalled for so long that they are now out of time to have the whole process for separate bills.

More importantly, the foreign aid he is complaining about is not significantly different from his own budget proposal.
posted by soundguy99 at 10:15 AM on December 30, 2020 [7 favorites]


but not because the president said to make it that low. It was that low because Republican Congressmen made it that low.

Worth mentioning that Mnuchin represented the executive branch during negotiations. There's no sign that he was pushing for a higher stimulus or even brought it up as something "the White House" wanted. Republicans have expressed frustration that Trump has not stuck by things Mnuchin was negotiating on.

A push for a larger direct payment from Trump earlier in the process would have certainly have been able to garner majority votes, though obviously with Senate defections.

Previously, Pelosi had failed to agree to a much larger bill bc of what she described as waiting until after the election. That appears to have been a miscalculation

The much larger discussions AFAICT all contained poison pills, most especially shields for companies from Covid liability (see for example here for the WP on this, as late as mid-December.)
posted by mark k at 12:23 PM on December 30, 2020 [3 favorites]


I just received the $600, so we'll see how the amendment mentioned above goes.
posted by Evilspork at 1:40 PM on December 31, 2020


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