Many Americans are waiting for news on whether they will get a second COVID-19 stimulus check. People got their hopes up because of news reports that Republicans and Democrats in Congress support a second check. However, then they couldn’t reach a deal and, on August 8, President Donald Trump left stimulus checks out of his four executive orders on stimulus relief.
That means that, if a second stimulus check is going to happen, people are going to have to rely on Congress coming back to the table and reaching an agreement. However, Congress adjourned for its summer session on August 13, leaving until Labor Day and making a deal far less likely in August, according to NBC News, which reported that Democrats wanted Republicans to increase the pot by $1 trillion, which they wouldn’t do. NBC News reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated Senators will return to Washington D.C. if a deal is reached. However, it would be very surprising in light of that news for one to be reached this week yet. That means you won’t likely get a check until September, if at all.
The two sides haven’t negotiated at all since President Trump unveiled his executive orders on Saturday, August 8, according to Forbes.
Here’s what you need to know:
By August 13, Both Sides Seemed Very Far Apart Still
The Hill reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on August 13 that Democrats won’t sit back down with Republicans unless they come up by $1 trillion. Democrats want a stimulus package worth about $3.4 million, and Republicans are locked in at $1.1 trillion.
“When they’re ready to do that, we’ll sit down,” Pelosi said, according to The Hill. Pelosi described the two sides’ differences as “vast,” saying, “It’s no wonder we have a vast difference because this administration, other Republicans in Congress have never understood the gravity of this situation,” USA Today reported.
McConnell had a sharply different take on why negotiations haven’t restarted in earnest. He called the Democrats’ plan “completely unrealistic, far-left proposal” and accused them of holding negotiations “hostage” over “non-COVID-related ideological items,” USA Today reported. Those words echoed Trump’s in his executive order press conference.
“The speaker and the leader have not conceded anything,” McConnell said, according to the newspaper. “They haven’t budged on their absurd demands. Their partisan games continue. And so the nation’s pain continues, too.”
The reason negotiations fell apart was not because of stimulus checks; it was because they were part of a larger package and both parties could not agree on things like the overall cost, Forbes reported. That remains the case.
Republicans and Democrats have generally agreed on the concept of a second round of stimulus checks, which would follow the same guidelines as before, netting qualifying Americans $1,200 each or $3,400 for a family of four. However, they haven’t actually passed it because the checks were part of the overall package that they can’t agree on.
How likely is it that negotiations will start anew and when?
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made a promising comment on August 11 for those wanting another stimulus check. He indicated that if Democrats come to the table, a deal could happen “this week” and said Republicans are willing to offer more money to get it done. He also said a second round of stimulus checks would be part of the deal, according to Forbes.
However, Democrats have strongly criticized Republicans’ offers as being too “meager” and not doing enough to help Americans in need. Both sides have indicated they hope to reach a deal. Politico has reported, though, that a deal is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Indeed, The Hill reported that Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke by phone on August 12 but didn’t make progress on a deal.
Then, things fell apart more on August 13, and the Senate went into the recess.
“We have again made clear to the Administration that we are willing to resume negotiations once they start to take this process seriously. The lives and livelihoods of the American people as well as the life of our democracy are at stake,” Pelosi said, according to the Hill, but she accused Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin of not budging on anything that broke down negotiations last time. Mnuchin responded by claiming that Pelosi “made clear that she was unwilling to meet to continue negotiations unless we agreed in advance to her proposal, costing at least $2 trillion. … The Democrats have no interest in negotiating,” The Hill reported.
If a deal was done this week, checks might still make it out in August. Otherwise, as is looking more likely, people could be looking at September arrival, even if one is approved. Chad Hooper, the national president of the Professional Managers Association (PMA), which represents managers at the Internal Revenue Service, told Grow.acorns.com that the IRS “is better positioned to issue a second check” than it was the first time “since the infrastructure is already in place to administer such a payment.”
Mnuchin Had Indicated Republicans Wanted a ‘Fair Deal’ But It Didn’t Materialize
The Treasury secretary has been in the thick of negotiations for weeks.
According to Reuters, Mnuchin on Monday said a coronavirus aid deal could be reached “as soon as this week, but Democrats said the two sides have not spoken since talks collapsed last Friday.”
Mnuchin said the White House is willing to get the deal done by sweetening the pot. “The president is determined to spend what we need to spend. … We’re prepared to put more money on the table,” he said on CNBC.
“Again, if we can get a fair deal we’re willing to do it this week,” Mnuchin said but didn’t say when Democrats and Republicans would actually start negotiating.
However, Politico reported that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is out this week and a deal is unlikely to happen anytime soon. “We are told it could be weeks before any serious talks resume,” the site reported, saying Republicans think they have Democrats in a “pickle” because they will look like they are hurting Americans if they fight Trump’s executive orders.
Trump Tweeted That Democratic Leaders Know His Phone Number
“So now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal. Amazing how it all works, isn’t it,” Trump tweeted Monday, August 11, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer. “They know my phone number.”
Democrats have questioned the legality of Trump’s executive orders.
“They don’t give another $1,200 payment to people,” Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, told Mnuchin on August 9 of Trump’s executive orders.
On that show, both Pelosi and Mnuchin said they would be willing to negotiate again. Mnuchin indicated that the White House would like Democrats to agree to a piecemeal deal to get various provisions done, like stimulus checks.
“Any time they have a new proposal, we’re willing to listen,” said Mnuchin of Democrats. “We agreed with the Democrats. We both want to send more checks to the American workers…we’ve said let’s pass legislation on the things we agree on and knock these off one at a time, and they’ve refused to do that.”
“Democrats repeat our call to Republicans to return to the table, meet us halfway and work together to deliver immediate relief to the American people,” read a statement from Pelosi and Schumer.
Pelosi strongly criticized Trump’s executive orders, calling them “unconstitutional slop.” She said on Fox News the orders give the “illusion” of helping people. The orders provide a payroll tax holiday, suspend evictions and student loan payments, and provide $400 weekly extra unemployment benefits, down from $600 before the enhanced benefits expired.
In a press conference on August 3, she also slammed Republicans in Congress for supporting a bill she believes doesn’t do enough to help the “millions of children in our country” who “are food insecure.” She also argued that Trump’s executive orders do nothing to address safely reopening schools.
However, when Wallace asked, “Are you ready to go back into talks?” Pelosi indicated that “we have to reach an agreement.” She decried the “weakness of the president’s executive orders” and said, “Let’s put money in the pockets of American people.”
She said Democrats are willing to shave $1 trillion off their $3 trillion package if Republicans come up from their $1 trillion proposal. “We said meet us halfway.”
Pelosi stressed that both sides “need to come to an agreement” and said Democrats “care so much about the fact people are in need. What we have in the bill addresses the needs of the American people.”
However, there were no talks on Monday, The Chicago Tribune reported.