Stimulus Check 2: Did a Stimulus Package Pass Over the Weekend?

Stimulus Bill Signing

Getty Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Vice President Mike Pence and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) applaud U.S. President Donald Trump during a bill signing ceremony for H.R. 748, the CARES Act in the Oval Office of the White House on March 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump signed executive orders for a payroll tax cut, enhanced unemployment benefits, an eviction moratorium, and student loan relief, according to Forbes.

Trump issued executive action less than 24 hours after Congress failed to reach its self-imposed Friday deadline to agree on the specifics of a relief package.

This doesn’t mean that stimulus negotiations will necessarily stop. In a joint statement on Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer suggested discussions could continue this week.

“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,” the statement read. “Lives are being lost, and time is of the essence.”

Whether or not Democrats and Republicans can reach an agreement on other aspects of a stimulus package is still up in the air. In the words of CNET, “A new round of financial aid for qualifying people now hinges on whether a new stimulus bill will pass at all.”

Here’s what you need to know.

Will a Vote Still Take Place?

According to CNET, if negotiations continue this week, it’s possible that a vote could take place on Tuesday or Wednesday. If the House votes on Tuesday, and the Senate votes on Wednesday, then Trump could have the bill signed into law by August 13.

As the outlet reported, however, there is also a possibility that discussions come to a standstill.

Speaking to Fox on Sunday, Pelosi said, “We said we’d come down a trillion. You go up a trillion. Meet us halfway and we’ll be able to have an agreement that meets the needs of the American people… We need to come to an agreement. We’ve got to meet halfway.”

A third option is that after the House takes their vote and the Senate turns down the bill, which would send legislation back to the House. As CNET stated, “If either the House and the Senate disagree with some portion of a bill, they can call for further negotiations to get to a final version.”

Another Round of Stimulus Checks

Noticeably missing from Trump’s executive orders was another round of stimulus checks to provide economic relief to American citizens suffering in the wake of the pandemic.

While both sides of the aisle– and the White House– support another round of checks, Forbes reported that it is unlikely Trump will act on stimulus checks.

Why? Forbes wrote, “The reason is separation of powers. Presidents can issue executive orders, but typically measures such as stimulus checks must be passed by Congress through legislative action. Congress controls federal spending, which likely would include stimulus payments.”

Congress will need to come to an agreement on the parameters of a stimulus check, and also agree on things like state and local aid, funding to reopening schools, and liability protection for schools and businesses, before a bill can be voted on and signed by President Trump.

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