SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WHSM) -- Efforts are underway on Capitol Hill to get a second round of stimulus checks out to Americans across the country.

The HEROES act just needs approval by the Senate.

Western Mass News has been following developments with this latest coronavirus relief package, which passed in the House, and right now negotiations are underway to get it to the Senate.

Its the $3 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill proposed by House Democrats.

Congressman Richard Neal - chair of the House Ways and Means Committee - told Western Mass News they're working with Senate leaders to get it across the finish line.

"We are in discussions with the Senate now. As you know Sen. McConnell has shifted gears and said he’s open to negotiation. He’s laid out some markers and I believe that the thrust of what we have suggested more money for state and local governments, more money for hospitals, and advanced retention tax credit for employers to keep employees working," Neal explained.

Under the act - there would be a second round of stimulus checks and for those unemployed - there would be an extension of the $600 federal unemployment compensation and unemployment benefits till 2021.

Plus a policy that encourages employers to keep their staff on the payroll.

Top republicans seem to be pumping the brakes on the new stimulus spending.

Senator Mitch McConnell spoke out saying much work is needed to be done.

"I think there will likely be another bill. It will not be the $3 trillion bill for the House passed the other day, but there’s a likelihood more will be needed. It’s my view that we are to be very carefully targeted to correct the mistakes [that are] certainly made passing the multi-trillion-dollar bill in one week," McConnell noted.

Neal said both sides need to agree.

"I think they’ll be an honest debate about unemployment insurance. I think that both sides have a position. As you know, we have put in place legislation that would expire at the end of July. So we think there’s room there for some negotiation going forward," Neal explained.

So how long till the senate votes?

Neal said its a waiting game, depending on negotiations.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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