President Donald Trump has signed four executive orders geared toward pandemic relief, but none of them gives a second COVID-19 stimulus check to qualifying Americans. That fact, as well as the collapse of negotiations between Republicans and Democrats in Congress, has left many people worried that they will never get a second check.
Are the second COVID-19 stimulus checks dead in the water? Or it is still possible that you could get a check?
The bottom line is that it’s possible if Congress were to come back to the table and negotiate a narrower deal to approve stimulus checks. However, due to President Donald Trump’s executive order actions on Saturday August 8, it’s not likely the president will use his own pen to get it done (there are limitations on presidential power due to Congress having Constitutional funding authority, and already some are questioning the legality of the president’s orders.)
What are the chances that the two sides in Congress will authorize a second stimulus check? Both sides made it clear: The negotiations did not fail because of disagreement over second stimulus checks. They failed because of other issues, including the overall size of the second stimulus relief plan and the amount to provide in extra unemployment benefits. Both sides had indicated they agreed on the concept of a second stimulus check and even the amount. Trump did highlight one area of disagreement over stimulus checks: He said Democrats wanted them to go to some undocumented immigrants, which Republicans oppose. If both sides could hash out their differences on the checks, it’s still possible Congress could act to get that done.
CNET.com reported, “Could the IRS still send a second stimulus check? That’s still very much a possibility.” The site provided three scenarios for a timeline if Congress authorizes a second check. The week of August 17 if the Senate approves one on August 11; the week of August 24 if the approval date is August 13, and the week of September 21, if the approval date is September 8.
Here’s what you need to know:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Made it Clear Both Sides Agreed on the Concept of Another Stimulus Check
On August 2, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that of a second stimulus check: “The President supports the exact same amount. There’s some minor changes allowing some additional people to get it.”
He said “in discussions with the Democrats, they’ve agreed to that concept.”
Mnuchin said he could turn around the checks really quickly if Congress authorizes them. “I could have them out immediately. So, if I could get that passed tomorrow, I could start printing them the following week. We did it the first time. I could get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people’s direct accounts. That’s going to have enormous impact on the American economy and hard-working Americans so I want to get that done quickly, he said.
Trump Accused Democrats of Being Obstructionists, but They Say the Republican Stimulus Plan Was ‘Meager’ & Didn’t Do Enough
The president’s press conference covered many issues. He referenced stimulus checks a couple times by accusing Democrats of blocking them.
Trump referenced stimulus checks by another name when he said on August 8: “We have repeatedly stated our willingness to immediately sign legislation providing expanded unemployment benefits, protecting Americans from eviction, and providing additional relief payment to families,” he said.
The president had previously expressed his support for a second stimulus check both on Twitter and in interviews.
Democrats “have refused these offers,” he said, alleging, “What they really want is bail out money for states run by Democratic governors and mayors and run very badly for many many years and many decades in fact. It has nothing to do with the China Virus. It has nothing to do with anything we’ve been talking about.”
The president’s executive orders covered a payroll tax holiday, deferred student loan payments, a suspension on evictions, and $400 enhanced employment benefits. Some question the legality of the orders.
He accused Democrats of holding “vital assistance hostage on behalf of extreme partisan demands….Many of the far left policies they’re pushing have nothing to do with what we’ve been working on so hard.”
Trump also indicated he felt the Democrats’ plan was too expansive. He said their plan “includes stimulus checks for illegal aliens…They want to have open borders. We don’t want to have open borders.”
He also accused Democrats of blocking “direct payments of $3,400 for a family of four,” which was a reference to stimulus checks, as well as additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program to help businesses and support to help K12 schools reopen.
For her part, Pelosi tweeted on August 7: “We remain committed to continue negotiating and reaching a fair agreement with the Administration, but we will not go along with the meager legislative proposals that fail to address the gravity of the health & economic situation our country faces.”
She added, “We call upon the White House’s negotiators to join us once again at the negotiating table today to secure a bipartisan agreement to put children, families and workers first.” In a joint statement with Democratic U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, she said, “Millions of Americans are still hurting and yet, despite this reality, President Trump and Republicans appear ready to walk away from the negotiating table to do unworkable, weak and narrow executive orders that barely scratch the surface of what is needed to defeat the virus and help struggling Americans.”